A Farewell to Music (tenor with chamber ensemble)
by Carl Vine (2019)
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This work was composed to be the last music ever heard at the Huntington Estate Music Festival, which reached its thirtieth and final iteration in November 2019. It was performed by all of the musicians taking part in the festival, and needed to be a celebration of a magnificent musical history, and not dwell in sorrow while expressing regret at the loss of this magical event. I fastened on Shelley's evocative poem, Music, When Soft Voices Die, as a way to evoke senses of memory and loss from a perspective of love and beauty.
The poem is given a simple setting at the start of the work, and a softer, more reflective setting at the end. Between those two stanchions I had two minutes to reflect 30 years of musical enjoyment - the glories, the experiments, the surprises and the gum trees. Think of it as fleeting musical wisps half remembered as unexpected fragments.
Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory;
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.
Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heaped for the beloved's bed;
And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.
Instrumentation: Tenor, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, glockenspiel, harp, piano (four hands), strings (220.127.116.11.-).
Duration: 7 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — tricky ensemble coordination
Dedication note: Dedicated to Jane Mathews. 'a codetta for the 30th and final Huntington Estate Music Festival, November 2019'
First performance: Nov 19. Huntington Estate Music Festival, NSW
Performances of this work
Nov 19: Huntington Estate Music Festival, NSW
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