Eternal Harmonies

Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
9 minutes
Modern classical music
Large mixed ensemble

Written in 2010, this piece is scored for solo violin and an ensemble of nine players: flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, horn, tuba, percussion, piano and accordion.

Eternal Harmonies is in three sections, played without a break, and is based entirely on a ten-note chord. The notes of the chord are never sounded in their entirety, rather a selection of notes are sounded as arpeggios, or short melodic fragments are derived from them. The first section is marked Moderato and starts mysteriously in the bass. After a brief build-up, the solo violin lightens the texture with imitations from flute and vibraphone. Some melodic material is presented by a duet between saxophone and clarinet and, after developing this material, the section ends as it begun, in the low register.

The second section is a Presto in 7/8 time and is a lively dance. This section explores the melodic aspects of the ten-note chord, and it ends with a cadenza for the soloist, leading to the last section, marked Adagio. Here the rhythms are very simple and, although parts of the original chord are always present, short melodic phrases from the first section are further explored. The piece ends by ascending to the high register, suggesting an ascent to an eternal realm.

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