John McCabe: Epithalamium (Homage to Mussorgsky – Study No.11)

Books | Piano

Publisher: Novello
Composer: John McCabe
Epithalamium was commissioned by John Sell as a birthday present for his wife Jane, and is dedicated to her and to Malcolm Binns. It was written during summer 2006 and derived from the two great chords that swing to and fro during the Coronation Scene in Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov. These provide a series of seven notes (heard in the quick flourishes after the opening chords) which provide the basis for the tunes and the harmonies through most of the work. The idea of bell sounds is carried through not only the chords during the piece but also some of the techniques (e.g. the gradually changing repeated patterns, rather like bell-ringing changes, encountered towards the end, or the quiet and distant, uneven tintinnabulation heard at the end of the central slow section). An epithalamium (or epithalamion) is a song or poem in honour of a bride and bridegroom – though technically a wedding piece, it seemed an appropriate title for a work honouring an anniversary, especially one where bell-sounds provided the original inspiration.
No of pages: 24
Length: 12
Language: English
Catalogue No: NOV090981