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for violin and piano

Year:  1980   ·  Duration:  3m

Year:  1980
Duration:  3m

Composer:   Ian McDonald

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Ian McDonald: Moment for vi...

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Moment for Violin and Piano is developed from a tune for solo violin written in 1979 for the Globe Theatre's premiere production of R. A. K. Mason's play "Straight is the Gate".

This tune was the musical vehicle for the heroine's tender and enduring love for her man, and love's spiritual victory over death and personal tragedy.

Moment is dedicated to Mason, and I have tried to write something which he might have understood and liked. It is derivative of British music but the harmony, counterpoint and voice leading are rudimentary and rough, reconstructing an imaginary style of earlier New Zealand music that might be likened to the architectural style of a pioneer's cottage built from whatever could be brought to the purpose from materials at hand.

It is not a "grand" theme, but it has an emotional quality (of sincerity, serenity or other feelings that the performers might like to elaborate) that needs to be brought out in performance. There is room for developing an expressive interpretation, and the techniques of nineteenth and early twentieth century performance such as rubato, vibrato and dynamic modulation should be explored in the preparation of the piece, without going so far as to drown it's simplicity.

Note by Ian McDonald

Commissioned note

Commissioned by Otago University

Dedication note

Dedicated to Mason

Performance history