Six Songs without Words – Set Eight
With B flat minor as its ‘home’ key, set 8 unlocked the door to some darker pieces, especially in the final piece of the set. Use the links below to see the first page of each piece.
The six songs are as follows:
Song no.1 in Bb minor – Tempo di Valse (listen using the link below)
Song no.2 in Db major – Moderato ma tranquillo (listen using the link below)
Song no.3 in D minor – Vivace e ritmico (listen using the link)
Song no.4 in F# minor – Lamentoso con tempo rubato (listen using the link below)
Song no.5 in A major – Aquarelle: Allegro ma non troppo (listen using the link below)
Song no.6 in Bb minor – Grave (listen using the link below)
The set opens with a poignant minor key waltz, completed on St David’s Day, which is followed by a tranquil piece with a warm tenor register cello-like melody, which yields to a more scherzo-like middle section (listen to this song using the Soundcloud link below). Piece Three unashamedly follows a Vivaldian ritornello pattern, though quite what the Red Priest would have thought of the 11/8 time signature remains a matter of conjecture …
The fourth piece returns to a plangent mood and this is followed by a lively aquarelle.
The intense emotion of the final piece is set from the start, a transformation of the coda of the previous piece from A major into B flat minor. Time passes slowly with an inescapable mournful tread and plangent dissonances and even when the melody has a more elegant shape in quavers, the mood is still heartbroken. Late on, this reaches a Munchian outburst of shock, anguish and rage which is left hanging in the air. When eventually the music resumes, it is with a codetta which still seems overwhelmed with grief but the rage has passed and in the delicate final chord a new colour can finally be detected, the colour of a fragile new hope.