Until the thread breaks [Violin & Piano, 2018]
Violin and Piano
About this workUntil the thread breaks takes its title from a phrase Beethoven wrote in his Heiligenstadt Testament to his brothers, a letter he wrote in 1802 around the same time as he composed his Violin Sonata No.7 in C Minor (Op.30, No.2).
Until the thread breaks explores the emotional attachment we have to something that we often –
particularly as musicians – take for granted. Over the course of the last few minutes of the piece, the violin line stretches increasingly higher in pitch, playing harmonics, which – given their position on the string, position of audience, and how an audience member’s own hearing health may be, may or may not be clearly heard by all. This is purposeful. There is a sadness in the loss of being able to listen to something so high, so fragile, so beautiful. Through the piece, as the violin slowly climbs its way up in pitch, the piano serves as the answering human frustration of knowing there are limitations to our existence.
‘Until the thread breaks’ was commissioned by Rhyl Music Club, for Mary Hofman and Richard Ormrod, on behalf of Gwyneth Peters and generously supported by the Colwinston Charitable Trust. ‘Until the thread breaks’ was premiered on 9th January 2019 at Rhyl Town Hall, Wales.
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