To See the Dark Between: for 2 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos and piano

Research output: Non-textual formComposition


[programme note]

To See the Dark Between takes snapshots of what could be imagined as progressively higher magnifications of the initial piano stroke. Initially all that can be heard are static chords, but gradually these turn into polyphonic melodies, as though glimpsed through fog. Suddenly the perspective changes and the sustained notes break up into pinprick cascades of notes, a mad guitar accompanying lamenting string melodies. After an ornate trio, a further increase in magnification reveals a swirling polyphony of dances, all ‘as though’ contained within the violent piano opening that also closes the piece.

Alternatively, it could be seen as a series of ways in which the piano can be brought into a relationship with the strings. The strings emerge from the opening percussive attacks, fused to the piano sound. Then strings and piano collaborate in a pizzicato/staccato clouds, before the sustaining power of the piano’s low register is explored next to the two cellos. Finally, the ensemble breaks into independent strands, the strings providing a song and a pair of dances, with the piano interjecting with sparkling arpeggios.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherFaber Music Ltd.
Media of outputScore
Size37 pages (c. 10 minutes)
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventAronowitz Ensemble performance - Kammermusik Bodensee - Konstanz, Germany
Duration: 21 Aug 2011 → …

Bibliographical note

Martin Suckling was one of the winners of the 2008 Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize and was consequently commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society and the Wigmore Hall to write this work for the Aronowitz Ensemble

First performed by the Aronowitz Ensemble on 9th May 2010 in the Wigmore Hall, London
Subsequently performed by the Aronowitz Ensemble at Kammermusik Bodensee on 21st August 2011

Duration: c.10 minutes

Instrumentation: 2 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, piano

Recorded by the Aronowitz Ensemble on Sonimage SON11202, release date 21st May 2012

Shortlisted for a British Academy of Composers and Songwriters British Composer Award 2011.

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