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Gwyn Pritchard: Music for Doublebass and Harp


Music for Doublebass and Harp does not attempt to represent or express any concepts or ideas beyond itself, its materials and its internal processes; hence the very plain title. The original version of the piece was composed in 1969 when I was a student at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music in Glasgow, and was intended for two fellow students to perform. At that time I was interested in exploring the possibilities of 'serialism' or the 'dodecaphonic' method of composition, and my aesthetic orientation was, broadly speaking, 'post-Webern'. However the piece was not performed until 1972 when it was played in the BBC studios in Bristol. But by then I had already rejected the serial method and all the pieces that I had written using that technique, and so it received no further performances for many years. Nearly twenty years later my eye fell on a copy of the piece and I decided that it was worth revising because not only is the combination very unusual and sonically interesting, but I felt that the work contained some good ideas. So like a tourist visiting a town in which I had lived many years ago I returned to my former serial techniques and with them produced this substantially revised version. Of course it is impossible really to return to the past and so I see this revision more as an interpretation than a recreation of a past venture, and there is much within it that I could not possibly have done as a very young composer, back in 1969.

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