Program notes

Barcarole for solo piano, opus 45a (1992)

Barcarole (piano, 1992), Master Mariner – Dead at Sea (viola and piano, 2005) and Master Mariner – Lost at Sea (oboe and piano, 2006) are reworkings of the eighth song from the song cycle Dead Songs (1991) for soprano, clarinet, cello, and piano. The piano version, Barcarole, was written for a Red House Edition of new Australian pieces all of which were to be exactly one page of music and has subsequently been recorded by Michael Kieran Harvey, Antony Gray and Stephen Emmerson. Dead Songs consists of settings of texts adapted from epitaphs collected from New South Wales seaside cemeteries.  It was the simplicity of expression, the occasional unintentional humour and even the heartfelt Australian mawkishness of the texts that attracted me to them as sources for a song cycle.  In the case of the eighth song, ‘Peace Perfect Peace’, the text is a childlike lullaby in 6/8 but with the rocking disturbed by ominous deep, gong-like sounds in the prepared piano.

© Andrew Schultz, 2016