ELEGIA STRAVAGANTE for violin, cello and chamber orchestra op.666 (October 2014)

an arrangement of Elegia Stravagante
Published by: Highbridge Music
Instrumentation: solo violin, solo cello; 1 flute, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons & strings

[Key to Abbreviations]
Duration: 16 mins
First Performance: tba



Composer’s note:

  • 1: Andante (rapsodico) (October 2013)

On the afternoon of the 28th I went to sleep for a short while and dreamed up a septuplet 'trill-flourish' motif in C major and an ensuing 'upward-sweeping' melodic fragment of a minor 2nd and major 7th, both of which I immediately wrote down. This was to be the material on which the trio was based.

  • 2: Scherzo malizioso

I was searching for a 6/8 allegro idea and worked at several until I suddenly remembered the 'jazz fugue' from 'Movement for orchestra' which I'd written way back in about 1963. It seemed to fit perfectly and work most effectively for piano trio, forming a perfect link between the Andante (rapsodico) and the next section Tragico.

  • 3: Tragico

Tragico begins with the upward-sweeping motif, but now very slow and sad. This forms a bridge and modulation to E-minor where the cello enunciates the theme 'Parting', a fragment I had dreamt up whilst preparing the repertoire for Vladimir Ashkenazy's album of my piano works in June 2013. Here the 'Parting' theme develops greatly, leading quite rapidly and unexpectedly to a colossal climax, then falling down to a paused low chord of C major which begins section 4.

  • 4: Grave, molto espressivo

Grave molto espressivo is a deeply-felt cadenza for violin and cello which then starts to accelerate (piu mosso) towards section 5

  • 5: Allegro furioso

Cello and violin play in unison at the 16th against a constantly turning piano phrase using the ever-present 'trill-flourish' motif. Martial and tragic hints and twists are now overcome by massive upward scalic movements seeking a major key and suddenly triumphantly asserting that of E major.

  • 6: Giojoso, estatico

Giojoso, ecstatico transforms and inverts the minor 'upward-sweeping' theme into a major 'hymn of triumph' punctuated with huge piano chords. The energy of this is so great however that it must inevitably sink down to regain stability and a hardly-moving harmonic 'thirds duplet' grows gradually quieter and slower until it sinks away to nothing without resolution.

  • 7: Andante, come prima (January 2014)

The music of the opening returns but this time in the key to which the piece has ascended - E major, the final bar picking up the 'trill-flourish' motif and giving the whole work a resolution with a very short coda on violin and cello sounding alone - yet perhaps finally together. The piano is wise enough not to interfere.


Related Works

'*PIANO TRIO NO. 3 ELEGIA STRAVAGANTE' op.654 (January 2014)
Concert work in an extended one-movement form of 7 linked sections
An arrangement by the composer for flute, bass clarinet and piano of the piece originally for piano trio

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