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A Silver Swan is Barking at the Moon

for solo bass viol

Year:  2023   ·  Duration:  11m
Instrumentation:  bass viola da gamba (bass viol)

Year:  2023
Duration:  11m
Instrumentation  bass viola da gamba (bass v...

Colin Decio

Composer:   Colin Decio

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Score

Sample: pages 1, 2, 4 and 6 of score

See details ➔


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Allemande - opens with a gentle chord sequence, as though exploring the viol, followed by a rhetorical flourish, which leads to a series of episodes of scale passages, melodic sequences and unexpected harmonic changes. Mid-way, I am instructed to slifen (glide) followed by a new melodic section which then recalls the triplet scale passages and leads to a quite ending, as though the swan gently glides away.

Pavan - opens also with a gentle chord sequence, this time plucked and then bowed, with the chords growing in intensity, higher up the instrument, and climaxing in a soaring melody (slifen). Another rising sequence of chords, leads to a dotted figure – schwanzen (wag the tail) which makes way for a quiet plucked conclusion, mirroring the opening.

Saltatio – ‘pantomine’ that is a representational dance in the hands of a professional performer – Grove – is like a gigue, rapid scale passages in triplets, sometimes duplets, leading the ear through unexpected but always organic changes of key and modality, gaining in intensity and excitement to a series of dissonant chords and a full-blooded conclusion.

Contents note

Allemande - Pavan - Saltatio