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Barren grounds : for B flat clarinet, viola, cello and piano

by Andrew Schultz (1988)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

From the CD Tapestry

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Tapestry : chamber music.

Library shelf no. CD 119 [Available for loan]

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Work Overview

On the Illawarra escarpment overlooking the sea, Barren Grounds is a wilderness reserve and bird breeding area. With a strange and otherworldly landscape - stunted growth and marshy ground - the place feels still, yet the barren, eerie surface conceals a fecund underlife. For me, the place occupies a state of mind; this, rather than any programmatic intention, prompted the title.

Movement 1, is a slow, lyrical and sinewy reworking of a vocal piece, Seafarer whose final line: "And learn to sleep upon this ground", with its reference to mortality, suggested the passacaglia form used.

Paul Klee's ornithological automaton painting, The Twittering Machine gives Movement 2 its inspiration. The musical intention at times resembles an ungainly machine that keeps running awry and needs to be wound-up again. Spinning out rhythmic fragments and employing mosaic technique are recurrent preoccupations.

Perihelion commissioned the work with funding from the Performing Arts Board, Australia Council.

Work Details

Year: 1988

Instrumentation: B flat clarinet, viola, cello, piano.

Duration: 16 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Advanced/professional.

Contents note: I. ...this ground -- II. The twittering machine.

Commission note: Commissioned by Perihelion with funds provided by Australia Council. Performing Arts Board.

First performance: by Perihelion — 27 Oct 88. University of Queensland

Version for clarinet, violin cello and piano is titled Barren grounds 2.

Performances of this work

27 Oct 88: University of Queensland. Featuring Perihelion.

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