Peace, op. 93 : for orchestra
by Andrew Schultz (2013)
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Peace takes its title from one of JMW Turner's most well-known paintings, Peace - Burial at Sea (1842). The painting commemorates the burial at sea of a friend of the artist and shows a dark ship with black sails surrounded by glassy sea, a luminous sky and a distant tower or lighthouse. In the centre of the painting is an eye-catching eruption of mysterious light through the bow of the ship.
The 'peace' of the title is not like the modern sense of personal peace - namely, deep tranquility. It is more the kind of restless and unsettled peaceful aftermath that exists in contrast to violence and brutality.
Like Turner's painting, my work plays on effects of closeness and distance and darkness and light. The piece is mostly very subdued and quiet in its outer sections with a central passage of greater force and brilliance. Peace quietly references the funeral marches of the period but often adds an additional beat to each second bar. The normal duple time of a march is replaced by a continual pattern of 4/4 + 5/4 - as though the march hesitates at the end of each second bar.
Instrumentation: 2 flutes (1 dbl picc.), oboe, cor anglais, 2 clarinets in Bb, bassoon, contrabassoon, 4 horns in F, 2 trumpets in C, 2 tenor trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (2 players), harp, strings.
Duration: 12 min.
Commission note: Commissioned by Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.
The composer provides the following information:
Other Schultz works such as Southern Ocean, Dead Songs, Sea-Change and Beach Burial have the sea as their setting. This work can form a diptych with August Offensive Opus 92.
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