piano trio | violin, cello and piano
Duration: 12′
Friedrich Hofmeister Musikverlag
First performance 20 March 2009 | The English Piano Trio | St James’, Piccadilly

Programme note:

Colour of Blossoms has been inspired by a 13th century Japanese story, The Tale of the Heike Family: the book centres on the emptiness of war, a recurring theme in Japanese literature. Colour of Blossoms draws on the delicate imagery from the famous opening passage; ‘The bell of the Gion monastery echoes slowly, warning that all is vanity. The colour of blossoms symbolizes the truth, that the prosperous will inevitably decline. The proud will fall in no time like a dream on a spring night. The valiant must perish too, as frail as dust blown by a puff of wind.’ For most Japanese people these temple gongs are associated with peace and they differ considerably from Chinese gongs or European church bells. They are huge, sometimes weighing as much as thirty tons, and are often hung in high places so that the reverberation can be heard across the valley.

Colour of Blossoms is punctuated throughout by the low, deep sonorities of the piano; the violin and cello etch delicate, lyrical lines against this darker resonance, opening into a fast, impassioned central section and then fold back into melodic meditation.

Colour of Blossoms was commissioned and part funded by the English Piano Trio; in addition the commission has been financially supported by the RVW Trust and was first performed by the English Piano Trio at St James’s Church, Piccadilly, London, on 20 March, 2009.


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