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Samuel, Rhian: The Tender Branch

Ref: Y374 ISMN: 9790220228704 Categories: , , By:


The Tender Branch is a further exploration of the materials of Rhian Samuel’s earlier work for organ, Fel Blodeuyn/Like a Flower of 1992, written in memory of a former student of the composer, Jenny Hunt, who died very young. The expressive range of both works is prefigured by quotations from the book of Job, and the shifting moods of The Tender Branch, evolving in a broad three-part form towards a pensive close in E major, capture a spirit of questioning, but also of defiance and resolve. The recent felling of the Sycamore Gap tree – a symbol of man’s wanton destruction of the natural world – was also much on the composer’s mind in the writing of this piece. Whether in services where readings from Job are a feature of the lectionary, or as part of sacred or secular occasions of remembrance, this six-minute score will offer a point of meditation and indeed of fortitude. The Tender Branch was premiered by Professor Steven Grahl on 11 February 2024, at his inaugural recital as Director of Music at Trinity College, Cambridge.

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