Australian composer James Ledger

Inscriptions
2006
12 mins
vln, vcl-pft

Premiere: 29 April 2007
Darlington Town Hall, Western Australia
WA Piano Trio

Movement I



Movement II



Movement III



Movement IV



My original intention behind Inscriptions was to name each of the movements with the initials of a friend or family member. The idea for this coming from Elgar's "Enigma Variations". The 'enigma' in Elgar’s case has long since been solved and the identities of his colleagues are now known. In the end I decided not to name the four movements of Inscriptions and they are, for now, without titles.

All of the movements of Inscriptions are characterized in some way by their contrasting mood swings. The first movement begins calmly with softly pulsating open fifths in the cello that is soon joined by the violin. The piano enters, again quietly, but the music soon descends into a series of chaotic gestures that continue throughout the movement which ends with rapid repeated notes in the highest register of the piano. The second movement is a floating and hazy elegiac piece with a short outburst in the middle. The first half of the third movement is rather psychotic with pounding clusters in the piano and violent gestures in the strings. This subsides and gives way to a calm and lilting berceuse in the second half. The fourth movement begins with tiny little fragments in the violin that almost plead with the other instruments to join in. Which they do - calmly at first, and then finally, they all relent into a dance-like whirlwind of kaleidoscopic activity.

One day I may go back and inscribe the movements with the initials of their intended owners, but for now the identities remain an enigma.




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