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One For Solitude


    Duration: ca. 5 minutes
    Composed: 2010

    Programme Note: “I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society.” – Henry David Thoreau

    One for Solitude for solo violin was commissioned for the Concours Musical International de Montréal as the imposed piece for the 2010 competition. It is meant to challenge the performers and to showcase their excellence both technically and musically.

    Solitude is a natural part of the musician’s life. Honing the skills necessary to become a proficient performer requires many, many hours of solitary study and practice. The exploration of this solitude is the main inspiration for the piece. In the middle ages, men and women, sometimes religious zealots, took solitude to the extreme by having themselves imprisoned as anchorites or anchoresses within the walls of churches. They would spend the rest of their lives alone in this cell with a small window (called a squint) that looked out onto the alter of the church. They also had a small window where they could receive food and give spiritual counsel to those who wished. The piece traverses this realm of solitude and loneliness. At times, the solo creates its own accompaniment by incorporating other sounds created by the performer, or the surroundings.

    Premiere: First performances by the finalists of concours Musical International de Montréal, Montreal, May, 2010

    Kelly-Marie Murphy, composer