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Whale Pavane : for cello and piano

by Luke Byrne (2019)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Robert Jackson, Luke Byrne from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 129.

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Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 129.


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Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 129.

Library shelf no. CD 3186 [Available for loan]

Display all products featuring this work (1 more)  

Work Overview

In 2014 I wrote a music-theatre work titled Between the Sea and Sky that contained, among other things, a kind of underwater ballet featuring a large whale puppet and an orchestra of twenty-three players. When this show was produced in a smaller theatre the ballet didn't fit (and nor did the large whale puppet), so this music was discarded.

Thankfully not long after that my friend Corinne Arter asked me to compose a work for cello for her daughter Mia, and so the whale re-surfaced, freshly renovated with extra cello virtuosity and extended techniques.

My inspiration from the natural world came from the movement and migratory patterns of Southern Right Whales, aka Eubalaena Australis. This version aims to retain the scale of this original vision but in a chamber partnership of cello and piano.

I am always indebted to the instrumentalists who play my music and enhance it beyond what I could. My sincere thanks to the very fine cellist Robert Jackson who contributed so much to the development of this work, and to Clare Kahn for the last touches of refinement. This work is for Mia and Corinne.

Work Details

Year: 2019

Instrumentation: Solo cello, piano.

Duration: 5 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Virtuosic parts

First performance: by Robert Jackson, Luke Byrne — 10 Mar 19. New England Conservatorium of Music, Armidale, NSW

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc in relation to this work:
This music was originally inspired by the music of Maurice Ravel, particularly his ballet "Daphnis & Chloë" and the "Pavane pour une infante défunte" from which it borrows its title and stately movement.

All slurs in the cello part are to indicate phrasing rather than bowing, and therefore are not 100% prescriptive.

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