White Birds Fly Over the Valley of the Somme : Lament for Cello & Piano (from 'The Glass Soldier')
by Nigel Westlake (2018)
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White Birds Fly Over the Valley of the Somme : from 'The Glass Soldier', for cello and piano / Nigel Westlake.
Library shelf no. 787.4/WES 3 [On loan, due 6/11/20]
Taken from the 3rd movement of the orchestral Suite "The Glass
Soldier" (Commissioned by Don Farrands in memory of his
grandfather N. H. Ferguson), this duo for cello and piano is a
slow lament representing the aftermath of the battle of
Villers-Bretonneux in Northern France (April 17-24,1918) in which
Nelson, a stretcher bearer was embroiled.
The image of white birds juxtaposed over a desolate landscape devastated beyond recognition is a metaphor for hope, the title inspired by a scene descriptive from Hannie Rayson's original play "The Glass Soldier". As Nelson surveys the killing fields of the Somme he yearns to be back in the arms of his true love, Madeleine. The sweet sounds of her piano playing inhabit his daydreaming & offer a glimpse of hope amongst the scarred earth & mud-filled trenches.
Instrumentation: Cello, piano.
Duration: 5 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — High register cello
White Birds Fly Over the Valley of the Somme is also featured in "The Diggers Requiem" under the title "Wooden Birds Fly Over the Valley of the Somme"
- Has as subject/About: Commemoration of war
Performances of this work
14 Nov 2019: at Belonging and Detachment: An Evening of Australian Instrumental Music (Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music - University of Tasmania).
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