Sestina

(1997)

by John Woolrich

Description
piano quartet
Duration
12
Genres
Mixed Chamber Ensemble
Commission

Commissioned by William Howard and the Schubert Ensemble

First Performance
9.7.97, Lichfield Festival: William Howard/Schubert Ensemble
Availability

Score 0-571-55854-2 (fp) on sale, parts for hire

Programme Notes

I borrowed the title of this piano quartet from Monteverdi's great madrigal sequence of 1610: "Lagrime d'Amante al Sepolcro dell'Amata". There are six main sections, behind each of which hovers the ghost of another piece - songs by Debussy, Schubert and Beethoven, a piano piece by Schumann, a little Stravinsky, and, finally and most openly, a fragment of Monteverdi's own 'Sestina'. The work ends with a gentle lullaby. 'Sestina' was commissioned by William Howard and the Schubert Ensemble.

John Woolrich

Licensing Information

News & Reviews

'Sestina' reviews

‘The ear, drawn into the atmosphere by the strings, was initially in fear of inappropriate sound from the piano, but the gentle chord clusters associated with its first entry were reassuringly in place. The poetry was sustained to the end, passing through formative but only vaguely defined allusions to music by other composers (helpfully defined by Woolrich as Debussy, Schubert, Beethoven, Schumann and Stravinsky) to a fairly clear echo of the Monteverdi madrigal which not only gave the work it Read more

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