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Gwyn Pritchard: Five Miniatures for Solo Violin

Written in 1969, whilst still a student, this set of pieces is amongst the earliest of Pritchard’s acknowledged works. They were commissioned by the Scottish violinist Gail Harvey, for a series of concerts she gave in Scotland that year. 

The modest proportions of this set of pieces should not to be taken as a sign of Pritchard’s compositional immaturity; in the preceding year he had written a viola concerto; a work on a far greater scale. The significance of these “Miniatures” lies in the attention the composer gives to every small detail, the precision with which every twist and turn in the melodic writing, every transformation of texture, and above all every event within the structure of each piece has been considered. In this sense these pieces are not simply “short pieces” but “Miniatures” in the strictest sense of the term; pieces which contain within themselves all the essential elements (development, contrasts and so forth) that one expects of larger movements; but here all such concerns are deliberately miniaturised, reducing that larger musical world to truly intimate proportions.

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