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Stephen Brown: Compositions

There Was a Lady in the East - Third Suite for Solo Cello

(2007)
cello, flute, violin, or viola solo
Third suite for solo cello in four (six) movements, Air & Strathspey, Reel, Lament & Hornpipe, Jig.

"There Was a Lady in the East is similar to the first cello suite in style. Again, Canadian folk songs and fiddle tunes are woven into some of the movements. The work takes it name from a song collected by Kenneth Peacock in Parson's Pond, Newfoundland, August 1958. Mrs. Charlotte Decker was the singer. As I was composing the work for cello, my brother Gregory, a fine woodworker, craftsman, and flutist, convinced me it would work well on the flute. When I was doing the necessary transposition and adjustments I thought, what the heck, I might as well make versions for the violin and viola like I did on Takkakaw Falls."

Premiere performance
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Alix Goolden Hall, Victoria Conservatory of Music, Victoria, BC
Paula Kiffner - cello

"The highlight of the afternoon was arguably the least sophisticated and modern, at least in terms of technology and musical structure: Stephen Brown's "There was a Lady in the East - Third Suite for Solo Cello". Solo cello suites will of course always get compared to the six masterpieces by Bach. Brown has found a solution that on the one hand pays homage to the master, while at the same time creates something entirely his own. The homage to Bach is to be found in the dance forms, but where Bach employed sarabandes and bourrees, Brown sets reels and hornpipes, using folk tunes from Atlantic Canada (notably Newfoundland) as a melodic foundation. The cellist Paula Kiffner was her usual brilliant self - her tone, phrasing, and dedication to the music was entirely convincing. On the fast movements, such as the closing jig, she was sharp and energetic, and the third movement's opening lament was achingly beautiful. The suite was enormously effective - I struggle to find the words to express how charmed I was by this music and Kiffner's performance."
Martin Monkman, MIV (Music In Victoria)

Duration 14:30

Audio: Movement 3, Lament & Hornpipe

View Movement 1 - Air and Strathspey
Page 1
Page 2

View Movement 2 - Reel
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3

Swan House Victoria SJB 1320A
16 pages, Solo cello: $10.00

Swan House Victoria SJB 1320B
16 pages, Solo flute: $10.00

Swan House Victoria SJB 1320C
16 pages, Solo violin: $10.00

Swan House Victoria SJB 1320D
16 pages, Solo viola: $10.00