• Thea Musgrave
  • From Spring to Spring (1996)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

Dedicated to Evelyn Glennie

  • Marimba (and optional windchimes)
  • 8 min

Programme Note

Dedicated with affection and respect to Evelyn Glennie

These four short pieces are closely based on Journey through a Japanese Landscape, a concerto for marimba and wind orchestra.

As in the Concerto, From Spring to Spring is based on a series of Haikus which represent an emotional journey through the four seasons. Each season is announced by a ‘peal’ on wind chimes – bamboo for spring, wood for summer, metal for autumn and glass for winter.

The Haiku chosen for each of the seasons provide a setting and an ‘event’. Thus the gently undulating spring sea is the background for the free improvisatory character of the skylark. The summer grasses (fast rhythmic figurations) have buried the glorious dreams of ancient warriors (a slow dotted march theme played in octaves). An autumnal fog envelopes a colossal Buddha (hovering tremolo chords) and a high quivering theme represents the lonely watcher. Finally in the frozen winter landscape the slow march reappears only to be buried in a big snow storm ( a rushing passage from lowest to highest register). Out of the silence that follows, echoes of the first movement suggest the return of spring and so rebirth.

This work is written for a 5-octave marimba, but ossias have been given so it may be played on a 4.5 octave instrument.

The wind chimes are optional; but if used, four different chimes of different materials are essential.


Score sample