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Scamander

image: Paul Klee, The Rhine at Duisburg

first performances:

Callino Quartet

Homerton College, Cambridge

27 April 2019

Barber Institute, Birmingham

10 May 2019

duration:

11 minutes

programme note:

In Greek mythology, Scamander was a river-god, son of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys, and the

personification of the eponymous river that flowed across the plain of Troy. This mythological background suggests the idea of a river journey, whose bends enable views of the same landscape

features from different perspectives. The musical flow explores a number of rhythmic and melodic

figures, and generates considerable tension in its contrast of fast and slow motion. After a brief slow

introduction, quicker material bubbles into action, and as the rhythmic activity tightens, some

slower melodic lines begin to penetrate the weave until a point of maximum tension is reached

about two-thirds of the way through the 14-minute span. But it’s the slow music that wins out

finally, and the musical river spreads out into a delta-like coda before reaching the open sea.

(John Hopkins)