Listening Notes:

The spirit of Schubert hovers over this work – specifically the qualities of his late works such as “Winterreisse” and the great “String Quintet” in C Major. The contrast of intimate and confessional moods with many powerful and stormy passages suggests a stream-of-consciousness mindset. So, there are elements of both light and darkness in this music, naiveté next to determination, and simplicity next to complexity. Many of these changes of mood occur without transition.

The song of the chickadee inspired the Scherzetto on this soundclip, consisting of just two notes – actually there are two birds represented in this piece, singing their two-note song to each other. The style of the music is unabashedly Schubertian: For me Schubert is the source of melody. Though his music may appear simple, is has the depth of Mahler. It also represents what we have sadly lost in modern music – an unadorned, direct and heartfelt appeal to both performer and listener. This was my inspiration – particularly in the Scherzetto.

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