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Gwyn Pritchard: Kommos 

for oboe, string quartet, doublebass & piano.


Throughout its composition this piece had no title, and composing it was not an attempt to express any extra-musical ideas.  My interest lay in exploring possible relationships between homogeneous musical material, such as the opening chords, and contrasting decorative solo lines or more complex heterogeneous materials.

The title ‘Kommos’ was attached to the piece after its composition, and refers to episodes that occurs in ancient Greek tragedy when, at the height of the drama, the main protagonist alternates with the chorus in a passage of very intense poetry. An example is the exchange between Orestes, Electra and the chorus immediately after Clytemnestra's murder in Euripides' Electra

Although not a literal counterpart to a Kommos in Greek drama, the fittingness of the title to the music is self-explanatory, with the oboe analogous to a  protagonist, the piano that of a second actor (called the deuteragonist) and the strings serving as kind of a chorus.

As this performance is (as far as I know) the first performance of any piece of mine in Korea, I am very pleased to dedicate it “To all my new friends in Korea”

Gwyn Pritchard (2012)


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