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Stone and Flower

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The accompaniment is scored for the somewhat unusual medium of an electric piano, ideally one having a Fender Rhodes type of velocity-sensitive timbre change where piano is a soft timbre, forte is a hard-edged timbre. There were two good reasons for this choice: much of the composer's work with voices has used this instrument (BBC commissions Schizophonia and Conversations in Colour); the first performance was to take place in a gallery rather than a recital hall. These reasons should not prevent the use of a conventional acoustic piano, although the electric instrument remains the composer's preferred choice. Throughout articulations, dynamics and tempo markings should be seen as a guide, no more.

Nigel Morgan has created an electroacoustic treatment of Parting, Katherine Raine's epilogue to Stone and Flower. This has been played as an intimate introduction to the cycle and for concert performance can include projected images of Martindale and Ullswater by Winifred Nicholson. Listen to The Parting here.

Stone and Flower was written for the mezzo soprano Philippa Reeves and keyboard player Robert Court. The music was commissioned by Yorkshire Sculpture Park with funds from the Britten-Pears Foundation for the Barbara Hepworth Centenary Exhibition and received its first performance on Kathleen Raine's birthday 14 June 2003.

From the premiere of Stone and Flower.

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Nigel Morgan, Prudential Buildings, 55 Westgate, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 1BW, United Kingdom Tel: 01924 383017 e-mail: tonalitysystems@mac.com

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