1998/99 PIANO QUINTET for pf, vl, vla, vcl, Cb

PIANO QUINTET (1998) in three movements. The idea was born after having been introduced to the Schubert Ensemble of London. Their pianist, William Howard, lived round the corner and used his wife’s dance studio to give public try-outs of every new program they took on tour. Their repertoire covered not only the classics of the genre, but quite a few new works, although in fairly conventional styles. Nevertheless, I started to develop a love for the instrumental combination and began writing what was meant to be an offering to the ensemble, hoping they would perform it one day. This was too much to hope for as it turned out and once it was clear that my idiom didn’t suit them, I started becoming bolder in the next two movements whilst thinking about other opportunities to get it performed.

The three movements are in the classical order of fast > slow > fast, and have the following titles:

  1. time is a river
  2. inflorescence
  3. the devil is a woman

Although they are my own invention, they sound as if somebody has used them long before me. In the event I apologize to their potential authors for failing to give them credit. Along the way they reflect a few very private preoccupations that dominated the creation of the work, some of which may qualify as ‘suffering’ and the ensuing fight to survive. Others as ‘love’ and its concomitant ‘urge to express’. I doubt if such forces are generally good sources of inspiration because they often obscure the unfettered application of craftsmanship and judgement, paramount in the creation of all good art. I just hope that something good has emerged in spite of them, if not thanks to a redoubling of effort to overcome them…

Plans are being drawn up for a performance by the Barton Workshop with Ralph van Raat at the piano.