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Sacred Space

for flute, violin, horn and cello

Year:  2004

Year:  2004

Hugh Dixon

Composer:   Hugh Dixon

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Score

Sample: Page 1,5,10,13,17,20

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A triangular arrangement of the players, with the audience seated around them, is envisaged – the cello player remaining in the centre of the triangle while the flute, violin and horn players are standing at the corners of the triangle. During the cello cadenzas the three standing players (I am tempted to say the three 'outstanding players'!) move to the next corner of the triangle in preparation for the following Tableau. But, to avoid too much time for changing of positions, I decided to employ the other players at the start of each cadenza. The last change brings the outer three back to their first positions for the final Tableau. Note that material for the cadenzas is derived from the opening 'flourish' and a number of suggested guidelines are given for the playing of the cadenzas. Of course, the entire work could be performed in situ, if preferred. So much for the literal spatial arrangement. Musically, the notes of the harmonic series, with the flute and violin up high, simulate a spatial effect. Difference tones produced from the paired flute and violin notes are in the cello part: bars 23-28 and the cadence passage bars 37-38. These help to 'space out' the music. Tri-tonality makes its appearance, first in bar 13 on the C/D/E harmonic series up to the 10th (the violin continuing the horn series), but is most noticeable in Tableaux II and III. The Pastorale 12/8 could be faster depending on how quickly the horn can play the low register notes and, as you can see, the Ostinato section is based on preceding material developed in the flute and violin parts of the 'Berceuse' sections. Hopefully I've put in adequate breathing spaces. Note that the reprise of the 'Berceuse' at bar 156 is ever-so-slightly slower. 'Sacred Space' received its first performance on Wednesday, 7th September, 2005 in Brisbane by the Locana quartet to which it is dedicated.

Commissioned note

Written for Locana (Brisbane ensemble)

Performance history

07 Sep 2005: Premiered in Brisbane by Locana quartet

22 Jun 2008: counterparts