A Fantasy For Viola

Solo Viola:


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About the Piece

The inspiration for Flowers came during a period of contemplation of the flowering plants in my garden.

Increasingly absorbed, I began to recognise them as shapes, forms, structures and textures, as movement and as a vast spectrum of tones and colours.

These reflections directly gave rise to musical ideas, sounds, patterns and forms.

I started to compose with the colours of solo cello in mind.  Quite early on in the conception of the ideas as a piece, it became clear that this may not be the soundscape I needed, but that the viola which has the same range of notes but one octave higher, was better suited to expressing the range and colours which were forming in my mind and in the score which I was developing.

I had recently been working quite closely with a Principal Viola player of the Hungarian State Opera Orchestra, Veronika Botos.  I began to recall the distinctive qualities of her playing, in particular the richness of colours in her sound and this encouraged me in this transition.

Flowers is composed freely in the form of theme and variation. The overall musical theme echoes the pattern of the passage of the plant cycle through time. The variations reflect the moments in this passage of time; glories at the height of blooming, the following explosions, shatterings, wilting, fading. The dormancy and the beginning again. Nothing static. 

Rising phrases are immediately followed by a falling phrase, and the ending leaves hanging in the air, quite literally, the qualities of ending in the floral season, but not of life force. The cycle continues.

My music is not intended to be descriptive nor is it a programmatic piece.

The musical language seeks to invoke connections with features of the flowers which inspired it.

Flowers is a celebration of my sensory reactions to flowers that flooded into my music making, transforming visual inspiration to musical expression.

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