Night Music is cast in one large movement with four distinct sections. It inhabits a world of dreams, nightmares, moonlight and darkness, beginning in a quasi-somnambulant state, with a blurring of melodic lines and harmony. With a lack of distinct pulse, we feel as though we could be floating. The music gradually intensifies and leads us to the second section which is rhythmically driven, cutting from moment to moment as though in a night-time chase. The third section begins with a beautiful, high, singing cello melody with a gurgling piano accompaniment. A lullaby-like piano solo follows, interrupted by a piercingly expressive high cello, followed by expressive pizzicati. In the fourth and final section the cello emerges from the depths of the piano in a slow, long line that gradually rises and leads to an explosive, emotionally powerful climax. The coda quotes moments from the previous sections and draws the work gently to a close.
Night Music is dedicated to Leonard Elschenbroich.
© Mark Simpson, 2016