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Chorales from an ox life : for viola and double bass

by Andrew Ford (2007)

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Chorales from an ox life


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Chorales from an ox life : for viola and double bass / Andrew Ford.

Library shelf no. Q 785.712/FOR 1 [Available for loan]

Display all products featuring this work (2 more)  

Work Overview

Chorales from an Ox Life (2007)
for viola and double bass (trio version for viola, cello and double bass, 2009)

Near the end of my opera, Rembrandt's Wife, Sue Smith's libretto has the eponymous artist at work on his famous painting of a slaughtered ox hanging up in an abattoir or butcher's shop. His work on the painting is obsessive, at one level an escape from the problems of daily life. In the context of this particular painting, our Rembrandt refers to his work - the secret, driven, obsessive work of any artist, which, partly through its solitary nature, non-artists sometimes find hard to understand - as his "ox life". While sketching ideas for the opera in late 2007, and thinking about this crucial scene, I came up with a sequence of chords which I found myself repeating over and over at the piano, rather like the painter dabbing away at his canvas. The chords found their way into the opera, but they also form the basis for the gently obsessive music of this duo.

Chorales from a Ox Life was commissioned by the bassist Robert Nairn for him to play with violist Heidi von Bernewitz, and it is dedicated to the two of them.

© A.F.

Work Details

Year: 2007

Instrumentation: Viola, double bass

Duration: 9 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Advanced/professional.

Dedication note: Dedicated to Robert Nairn, Heidi Von Bernewitz

Commission note: Commissioned by Robert Nairn.

First performance: by Robert Nairn, Heidi Von Bernewitz — 25 Mar 08. Esber Recital Hall, Penn State University, Pennsylvania, USA

Performances of this work

24 Apr 09.

23 Apr 2009: at Icarus - Music of Andrew Ford (Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM)). Featuring Christa Jardine, Richard Vaudrey, Douglas Rutherford.

25 Mar 08: Esber Recital Hall, Penn State University, Pennsylvania, USA. Featuring Robert Nairn, Heidi Von Bernewitz.

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