PAGES OF POETRY (1999-2000) Clarinet & string trio (vln/vla/vc)
The Flower School; Clouds & Waves; Passing Visions; Beat,beat,drums!; Hymn to the Sun
Duration: 21 minutes
Programme note The original version of this suite was composed for clarinettist Deborah de Graaf and the Ku-Ring-Gai Virtuosi, who premièred it in Sydney in 1999. For a Radio Suisse Romande live broadcast concert in 2000. clarinettist Thomas Friedli suggested enlarging the suite, resulting in the present first and fourth movements. All five movement are essentially songs without words, inspired by poetry. The first and third relate to poems by Rabrindranath Tagore of children at play. The second and fourth take a very contrasted stimulus from Walt Whitman’s moving poems about death and the American civil war. The dark mood of the fourth movement is dispelled by the finale, which takes inspiration from an Ancient Egyptian text in praise of the sun (Ra). As a point of technical interest, movements 2,3, and 5 closely follow the rhythm of the poetic texts that inspire them, while the longer movements 1 and 4 more freely explore their poems’ atmosphere and structure.