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Arioso for Viola and Piano

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Viola, piano

Duration (approx)   7 minutes
Composed   1991
Publisher   Music Haven
First performance   16th May 1991
Venue   St Pancras Church, London
Soloists / Players   Sarah-Jane Bradley (viola), James Francis Brown (piano)
Notes   See also Arioso for Clarinet and Piano.

Single movement

Programme Notes

In the early 1990s I was getting to know the poems of Philip Larkin and was struck by one of his earliest poems 'Going'. It is, as with many of Larkin's poems, concerned with his acute awareness of approaching death and whilst I am not especially given to morbid contemplation of that sort, I was captivated by his oblique suggestion of the momentous. In the first two stanzas there is a feeling of warmth contained within the bleakness:

There is an evening coming in
Across the fields, one never seen before,
That lights no lamps.

Silken it seems at a distance, yet
When it is drawn up over the knees and breast
It brings no comfort.

I remember feeling an instinctive conversion into sound - in particular the opening chord - which generated much of the character of the piece. Most of the piece is slow and contemplative in nature with a more animated middle section.

It is dedicated to Sarah Jane Bradley, a great friend and a wonderful musician, who gave the premiere of the viola version in 1991.

Score Samples

Click a score sample below to view a larger version of the score...


Related News

World Premiere: Arioso for Viola and Piano

Thursday 16th May 1991

Works:  Arioso for Viola and Piano

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