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Suite for Véronique : harpsichord

by Ann Carr-Boyd (1982)

Audio Sample

Performance by Nicholas Parle from the CD Splendour of the past

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Splendour of the past


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Splendour of the past : music of Australian composers.

Library shelf no. CD 121 [Available for loan]

Suite for Véronique


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Suite for Véronique : for harpsichord / Ann Carr-Boyd.

Library shelf no. 786.4/CAR 3 [Not for loan]

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Work Overview

Suite for Véronique was commissioned by Robert Goode and funded by a grant from the Music Board of the Australia Council. Robert gave the premier performance at a festival of organ and harpsichord music in Melbourne in 1982. The work was named after Véronique, a piano student of Ann's in Sydney.
Prelude is a movement in Baroque style, and, like the Baroque prelude it is expansive and rhythmically free. Rolling arpeggiated chords announce the music to follow. Of the movements in Suite Véronique this is the most ' legato'. Harpsichord strings are plucked and the sound does not sustain for long, so in order to achieve a legato effect the music needs to flow continuously and the fingers should be in a position to reach the next note in a connected way without jumping. Harpsichord players have various ways of playing the notes to gain this fluid sound, which has its own rich sonority.
A Little Rag is opposite in many ways, employing a ragtime-style bass line which has many leaps traditional in this style, without any cover-up sustaining pedal as in a Rag for piano. The trills in this movement however are very much part of the harpsichord sound.
Ritornello 1 is a little interlude based on the South American folk song Esa noche.
Slow Step this slow step is jazz-oriented and contains many 7th chords which are also frequent in jazz and blues. The persistent rhythm, although slow, drives the music throughout and increases in momentum to the final note.
Ritornello 2 is a repeat of the first ritornello and in the manner of Baroque music is a repeat with variations, also allowing the performer to add his or her own ideas to its performance.

Work Details

Year: 1982

Instrumentation: Harpsichord.

Duration: 12 min.

Contents note: Prelude -- A little rag -- Ritornello I -- Slow step -- Ritornello II.

Commission note: Commissioned by Robert Goode with funds provided by Australia Council. Music Board.

First performance: by Robert Goode — 1982. a festival of organ and harpsichord music, Melbourne


Performances of this work

24 Sep 2016: at Thinking of You (The Rose Room). Featuring Diana Weston.

4 Sep 2016: at The Laughing Kookaburra (Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery). Featuring Diana Weston.

1982: a festival of organ and harpsichord music, Melbourne. Featuring Robert Goode.

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