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Phoenix Chaconne : 5 viols and continuo

by Brooke Green (2019)

Phoenix Chaconne


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Phoenix Chaconne : for 5 viols and continuo / Brooke Green.

Library shelf no. 785.716/GRE 1 [Available for loan]

Phoenix Chaconne


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Work Overview

We begin with layers of downward trilled glissandi to depict the Phoenix falling from the sky. There is a long, slow recovery dance as she builds up her strength to rise again, then one bass viol throws down the gauntlet to the other before they jam together. Eventually, the phoenix swoops up into the heavens as we glissando upwards, aiming for our highest harmonics. Even though this piece is in French baroque mode, I can't help thinking of Elizabeth I who adopted the phoenix as one of her emblems. The phoenix appears as a jewel worn by Elizabeth in the portrait by Nicholas Hilliard.

Work Details

Year: 2019

Instrumentation: Treble viol, 2 tenor viol, 2 bass viol, continuo (theorbo/harpsichord).

Duration: 5 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — French baroque style; fast, virtuosic writing for bass viols, figured bass for continuo

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc in relation to this work:
French baroque style such as works by Marin Marais


Performances of this work

7 Nov 2022: at Viol Juice (Melbourne Recital Centre). Featuring Consortium - Melbourne's Consort of Viols.

24 Nov 19: Glebe Music Festival, Glebe Town Hall, NSW. Featuring Josie & the Emeralds.

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