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Campani in Aria

Campani in Aria

Rory Boyle
Difficulty: advanced  

Preview  Piano  Violoncello  Violin  Viola 
In 1990 I wrote a carol for high voices and piano which set an evocative poem by Hilaire Belloc entitled ‘Noel’. This beautiful poem does not present the usual sugary view of the Christmas story but rather underlines the starkness and grim reality surrounding the events of that time. This less comfortable picture of the birth of Christ has always been one with which I have empathised. It was this carol which I reworked in 1998 as Campani In Aria in response to the Schubert Ensemble’s commission to contribute a piece to the Chamber Music 2000 project.

Scored for piano quartet, Campani In Aria is essentially in a lyrical vein although the music is suffused with an underlying chill most clearly suggested by the bell-like sounds running through the strophic structure. The title is deliberately abstract so as to avoid any programmatic imagery, although the subtitle ‘berceuse’ gives a hint of the music’s original concept as a carol.

Rory Boyle
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