Those Secret Eyes for violin, cello and piano by Charlotte Bray.

This work was composed in 2014 and first performed on 22 February 2014 at The Banff Centre in Canada by the Albany Piano Trio.

Commissioned by the Albany Piano Trio, recipients of the Richard Carne Junior Fellowship for Chamber Ensemble with Piano, 2013/14.

Programme Notes

Those Secret Eyes is loosely inspired by Shakespeare's Macbeth, and principally the play's female characters: Lady Macbeth and the Witches. Set at night, it holds dark undercurrents of suspicion, sin, superstition, and mistrust. Governed by the principal themes of appearance and reality, and ambition and guilt, the piece is driven by a cruel, dry energy.

The scheming, tightly wound opening strings playing single sul ponticello lines punctuated by the piano, seems as if they are conspiring together and daring each other. The plot thickens with the music becoming faster, more excitable and heavier. Even the melodic lines before the climax are unsettlingly cold and calculated. We wind up back to similar material seen at the opening, as if this short meeting has come to a close, the veiled agenda set.

This work may be performed alongside That Crazed Smile, which is loosely inspired by Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The plays are linked by themes of dream versus reality, and night versus day: problems arise in the day, and are relieved at night through dreaming.

Duration: 6 minutes