Enter your username and password

Forgotten your username or password?

Your Shopping Cart

There are no items in your shopping cart.


The Rest Is Silence : Concerto for Cor anglais and Orchestra

by Anne Cawrse (2021)

Selected products featuring this work — Display all products (1 more)

Display all products featuring this work (1 more)  

Work Overview

In orchestral settings, the cor anglais is often charged with the responsibility of giving voice to music's most melancholic, bittersweet and emotionally profound melodic moments. In planning this concerto, I decided early on that I was not interested in pushing the instrument into a space it did not easily fit. And so, armed with the desire to write a primarily lyrical work, together with a list of soloist Michael Pisani's favourite cor anglais orchestral moments, I created The Rest Is Silence as a musical response to the quote by Aldous Huxley: "After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music".

My concerto seeks to position the cor anglais in the spaces between music and silence. It is often both the first and the last to be heard, acting as a conduit between string and wind sonorities. Its unmistakable tone appears in brief glimpses between chords, like sunlight briefly piercing through clouds. The regular silences and moments of rest found in the orchestral parts are manipulated by the soloist, who either fills the space, comments upon it, or prepares us for the silence yet to come.

My hope is that this work, to borrow more of Huxley's words, will "give expression to (the) awareness of blessedness" that comes from being still and knowing. The Rest Is Silence is a prayer, a celebration, and a meditation on the quiet still spaces, the silence amidst the hustle, and the enduring power of music.

Work Details

Year: 2021

Instrumentation: Solo cor anglais, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets (2nd doubling bass clarinet), 2 bassoons, 2 horns, timpani, percussion (2 players), harp, strings.

Duration: 16 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Dedication note: Dedicated to Michael Pisani, Nicholas Carter and the Melbourne symphony Orchestra

Commission note: Commissioned by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

First performance: by Michael Pisani, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Nicholas Carter at MSO: Haydn, Cawrse, Stravinsky (Live streaming event (online only)) on 24 Jun 2021

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for/to
2022 Paul Lowin Orchestral Prize Highly Commended Anne Cawrse
2022 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Large Ensemble Finalist Anne Cawrse


Performances of this work

5 Sep 22: Hamer Hall, Melbourne

3 Sep 22: Hamer Hall, Melbourne

24 Jun 2021: at MSO: Haydn, Cawrse, Stravinsky (Live streaming event (online only)). Featuring Michael Pisani, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Nicholas Carter.

User reviews

Be the first to share your thoughts, opinions and insights about this work.

To post a comment please login.