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The Eleventh Hour : a suite in four movements for bass clarinet, string quartet and double bass, commemorating the centenary of the end of World War I

by Paul Cutlan (2018)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Paul Cutlan String Project from the CD Living

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Living / Paul Cutlan String Project.

Library shelf no. CD 3148 [Not for loan]

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Work Overview

The Eleventh Hour was written in the centenary of the end of the First World War. It is a personal, philosophical reflection on human-kind's predilection to fall into the pattern of war and destruction. It wasn't intended that the music graphically depicts anything. However, now that the piece is finished, this is my reaction to its narrative: 'Prelude' is intended as a cross between a prayer or plea for peace and a sorrowful acknowledgement of the fallibility of human nature. 'Portent and Intransigence' paint a picture of the mounting inevitability of war, while 'Conflict' progresses from the disciplined energy of armies of combatants marching willingly against each other, to the reality of chaos and destruction. 'Desolation' follows a long journey of suffering, enervation and human frailty, with the final chords offering solace and peace.

Work Details

Year: 2018

Instrumentation: Bass clarinet, string quartet, double bass.Requires skills in improvisation.

Duration: 32 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Interpretation; improvisation

Contents note: I. Prelude -- II. Portent/Intransigence -- III. Conflict -- IV. Desolation/Deliverance.

First performance: by Paul Cutlan, Liisa Palandi, Lachlan O’Donnell, James Eccles, Oliver Miller, Brett Hirst — 21 Jul 18. The Sound Lounge, Seymour Centre, Sydney

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Benjamin Britten (War Requiem), Krzysztof Penderecki (Threnody), free jazz, Cristóbal de Morales (Officium Defunctorum), textural improvisation, Anthony Braxton, Eric Dolphy, Dave Holland.


The Eleventh Hour


Performances of this work

30 May 2021: at Sydney Conservatorium International Jazz Festival (Sydney Conservatorium of Music). Featuring Paul Cutlan String Project.

7 Feb 2021: at Paul Cutlan String Project: Living (Riverside Theatres, Parramatta). Featuring Paul Cutlan String Project.

23 Mar 2019: at Sounds of Now (Darling Quarter Theatre). Featuring Paul Cutlan String Project.

21 Jul 18: The Sound Lounge, Seymour Centre, Sydney. Featuring James Eccles, Paul Cutlan, Brett Hirst, Oliver Miller, Liisa Palandi, Lachlan O’Donnell.

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