Viola part from In memory of his father, Ingulf

Katrina Gordon
2 minutes
Modern classical music

I wrote this piece for my daughter to play during a week-long residency at our local museum, where I was tutoring a class of enthusiastic young composers. We were all inspired by the museum’s artefacts and the stories attached to them.

This sad little piece is a reflection on an artefact which I found particularly inspiring: a beautifully carved Viking rune stone. The stone inscription translates as "In memory of my father, Ingulf."

The clarinet part represents the thoughts in that poor Viking’s head as he lovingly carved his father’s gravestone. The pizzicato string parts represent the chip, chip, chipping of his chisel as he worked. Finally, the ’cello part, which is much more important than it looks, represents the constancy of life and the enduring energy which persists even beyond death.

It can be played by solo clarinet with either a string quartet or small string orchestra.

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