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Samuel, Rhian: Mechanical and Fantastical Studies


Ref: Y288 ISMN: 9790220223204 Categories: , , By:

1. Mechanical Study I
2. In the Air
3. Mechanical Study II
4. Falling Star
5. Mechanical Study III

The three ‘mechanical’ studies of this set of five all employ a clear structural technique based on regularity. The first presents a stream of fast semiquavers in duple metre which constantly interplays with short motivic figures; the second offers a 14-bar ostinato (melody) that begins at the top of the keyboard and gradually descends to the bottom; around this ostinato a sustained counter-melody weaves. The third presents a igorous, stomping 9/8 dance rhythm which interacts with lengthening patterns in the second voice. The two ‘fantastical’ studies which intersperse the ‘mechanical’ contrast greatly with them: much freer in expression, tempo and rhythm, they evoke the outdoors and the calming presence of nature. The first moves like wafts of the breeze; the second, more complex, is the heart of the work. Its deep contemplations are several times interrupted by a modest refrain, drawing it back in the ‘real world’ – that of the three ‘mechanical’ studies which surround it. This refrain is also a mediator, its last appearance as gentle as the breeze evoked in the second study.

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