Based on a traditional Scottish/Irish ‘farewell’ song, this short piece is one of six works written to express my love of Scotland. After living there for nearly half my life, and raising a family, I moved back to England in 2018, and remarried in 2019.

Of course, there were many different emotions attached to the move south: especially the joy and excitement of new beginnings, and reconnection with friends from my youth. 

But this piece expresses the wrench I experienced after a last family meal in Glasgow, and the realisation of all I was about to leave behind.

I have taken the melody of the original song, and expanded it, exploring the detail of its patterns, so that it becomes a timeless meditation.

The six pieces in the ‘farewell’ series are for 6 violas, string quintet, string quartet, trio, violin and clarinet duo, and solo clarinet. 

The Parting Glass was composed in 2020 during the coronavirus lockdown, which intensified the feeling of separation from my Scottish family, as well as from other musicians. 

It was commissioned by Vittorio Ceccanti for the ContempoArtEnsemble.