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Rashomon confessions : clarinet with string quartet

by James Ledger (2009)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Musicians of the National Academy of Music, Paul Dean from the CD Chamber pieces

Chamber pieces


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Chamber pieces / James Ledger.

Library shelf no. CD 2349 [Available for loan]

Rashomon confessions


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Rashomon confessions / James Ledger.

Library shelf no. 785.4415/LED 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

The title of this work comes in part from a 1950 Japanese film directed by Akira Kurosawa called Rashomon. In the film, four people witness the apparent murder of a nobleman and the rape of his wife and then give four differing but equally plausible accounts of what took place.

The film takes place in twelfth-century Japan, and one of the four main characters, the woodcutter, tells his version of the events to a passer-by in a ruined stone temple named Rashomon. The stories of the three other main characters - the nobleman, his wife and a bandit - are delivered at a trial through flashback. (The dead nobleman, incidentally, recounts his story through a medium). The film is a study in how people will lie to protect or even big-note themselves. I attempted to represent this musically by having two contrasting concepts running in each of the movements.

Work Details

Year: 2009

Instrumentation: Clarinet in A (doubling bass clarinet in B flat), 2 violins, viola, cello.

Duration: 18 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Contents note: Confession I -- Confession II -- Confession III.

Commission note: Commissioned by Sydney Opera House with funds provided by Regina Ridge Trust.

First performance: by West Australian Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players at WASO Chamber Players (Sydney Opera House - Utzon Room) on 13 Dec 2009


Performances of this work

22 Jun 2011: at ANAM: Third Breath (Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM)). Featuring Musicians of the National Academy of Music, Paul Dean.

13 Dec 2009: at WASO Chamber Players (Sydney Opera House - Utzon Room). Featuring West Australian Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players.

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