Meditation
For Cello and Piano (1976)
by Ron Hannah

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Duration: about 4 minutes

    A simple, expressive piece in my own freely-tonal style, this meditation (like my 3 African Songs) is an outgrowth of my Master's thesis composition of 1974/5, which was a choral/orchestral work called The Shrine of Kotje. The third section of that piece is the basis for this Meditation. The words for that movement are taken from a poem called "Diptych" by the Senegalese poet, Birago Diop. The poem describes the African savannah, blazing hot and silent during the day, black and silent at night, and always mysterious, with hints of sounds in the stillness. You may find the poem (in English, the original poem is in French, I believe) in a book called "Modern Poetry from Africa", edited and translated by Gerald Moore and Ulli Beier, published by Penguin Books, 1963. I thought the choral setting was very expressive, and from whatever source comes musical inspiration I later came to realize that it cried out to be played on a cello.

    This is a work of special lyricism, employing rich romantic chords and with a section in the middle in quartal harmonies.

     The music and a CD recording are available through the Canadian Music Centre. Or if you like, please send me an email request for the score (below). The CD is entitled Brief Confessions Brèves, and was issued by the Edmonton Composers' Concert Society (now called New Music Edmonton), the performers being Eve Egoyan, piano and Margaret Gay, cello. BTW, you may hear their fine performance by clicking on the control strip below.

     I have only one request for the use of this piece: if you perform it I beg you to inform me so that I can keep my Performances page up-to-date. Hardly anyone ever does, but I keep asking :)


Hear "Meditation for Cello and Piano"




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