Commissioned by Stephen De Pledge.
27 Feb 2018, St. Mary of the Angels, Wellington, New Zealand
Stephen De Pledge, piano.
Of all the movements in JS Bach's Partita no.3 in A minor, it was the burlesca that spoke most compellingly to me. I loved its obsessive ornamentation and the confounding eruption of parallel octaves two-thirds of the way through. The recurring twists and turns made me think of the way wood grows around an an insect or an injury. Over time, these irregularities amplify, forming a complex pattern — a burl. Often described as a deformity, the tree has in fact healed itself. Commissioned by Stephen De Pledge for the New Zealand Partita project, premiered at the 2018 New Zealand Festival.