• John McCabe
  • Gaudi (Study No 3) (1970)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

Commissioned by the Cardiff Festival

  • piano
  • 13 min

Programme Note

This work is the third in a series of piano pieces subtitled "Study" because, although individual concert works in their own right, they all include as part of their basic concept an exploration of some aspects of piano technique or compositional procedure. The various pieces in this sequence have widely differing durations - Gaudí lasts nearly a quarter of an hour. It is, formally, a large-scale rondo, in which the structure is built up by using various contrasted themes and groups of motifs, which are somewhat varied on each reappearance.

This particular work was commissioned by the 1970 Cardiff Festival of Twentieth Century Music, with funds provided by the Welsh Arts Council, and is dedicated to Valerie Tryon, who gave the first performance. The music is a tribute to the work of the Spanish architect Antonio Gaudí, whose extraordinary and unique buildings are a source of continual fascination. Before setting about the composition of this music I made some notes to emphasize the particular qualities of this architecture that I wanted to recreate in musical terms: "Bells/deep gong sounds; contrasts of decoration with static sculptural forms; intricate, ornate ornamentation; variety of planes, textures and materials; juxtaposition of the ferocious and the idyllic."

© 1991 by John McCabe


Gaudi, "Study No. 3"
Gaudí (Study No. 3)