After Nina, op. 73 : for clarinet in A, cello and piano
by Andrew Schultz (2007)
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Library shelf no. CD 2096 [Available for loan]
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After Nina was composed in the first half of 2007 for the Endeavour Trio (Paul Dean, Trish O'Brien and Stephen Emmerson). It is a nine minute work which was written at the same time as my chamber opera, The Children's Bach. The work is a slow and lyrical study based around a pattern of low chords heard first in the piano.
The title and the mood of the piece refer to the Nina Simone version of the song, Strange Fruit with its sparse piano accompaniment. Strange Fruit is the anit-lynching civil rights song written in the 1930s by Abel Meeropol and then made famous by Billie Holiday.
'Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.'
I have often been asked why it is the Nina Simone version of the song that interested me rather than the more well-known version by Billie Holiday. It is the relatively detached style of Simone's version - the limited use of overt emotionalism when dealing with a topic that so easily invites it. Whilst Simone does give vent towards the end her style is mostly sparse and allows the text to stand.
Instrumentation: Clarinet in A, cello, piano.
Duration: 9 min.
Commission note: Commissioned by Endeavour Trio.
Website: Music and Emotion (incl. performance of "After Nina")
What happens when you listen to music? What happens in your brain? What makes music sad, poignant or joyful? How easy is it as a composer to shape and extract emotional responses to particular compositions? In this conversation you’ll hear music and some interesting insights into composition and emotional response with Emma Ayres; Professor Andrew Schultz – composer and head of the school of Arts and the Media at UNSW and Associate Professor Emery Schubert.
Source: UNSW Youtube channel
Performance of Andrew Schultz's "After Nina" by musicians of The Australia Ensemble at UNSW. Composed after listening to Nina Simone's rendition of "Strange Fruit".
- Influenced by: Popular music
Performances of this work
16 Oct 2012: at Australian Voices - Andrew Schultz (Melbourne Recital Centre).
Aug 09: Recorded by the ABC for ABC Live, Ferry Road Music Studios, Brisbane. Featuring Endeavour Trio.
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