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A Feather of blue : for violin, cello and piano

by Maria Grenfell (2000)

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Work Overview

A Feather of Blue takes its title from a phrase in a poem called "A View From A Window" by New Zealand writer Kevin Ireland. I have always admired the wry humour and brightness of Kevin Ireland's writing and many years ago set three of his poems for soprano and mixed ensemble. As a kind gesture Mr Ireland sent me a copy of his book of poems "Skinning A Fish", and I was particularly struck by the imagery of colours, flowers, feathers and birds in this poem, which illustrates rain pouring down a window pane and giving way to a burst of sunshine after a storm. The piece uses a melody that I derived from a chant and originally used in an earlier piece but felt it was more suited to the piano trio combination in this work. The expansive melody appears in a somewhat fragmented form at first, giving way to a livelier section where the cello plays guitar-like chords alongside an isorhythmic exchange between violin and piano. The music builds up to a virtuosic climax before sighing with relief and a return to the opening textures. A Feather of Blue was commissioned in 2000 by the New Zealand Trio, and is recorded on their album "Spark".

Work Details

Year: 2000

Instrumentation: Violin, cello, piano.

Duration: 9 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Commission note: Commissioned by NZTrio with funds provided by Creative New Zealand.

First performance: by NZTrio — 16 Jan 01. Christchurch Music Centre Chapel, New Zealand

Performances of this work

16 Jan 01: Christchurch Music Centre Chapel, New Zealand. Featuring NZTrio.

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