'As always, it was sheer pleasure to observe Robin Hill's remarkable fluent technique: everything looks easy when he plays it.' Colin Cooper- Classical Guitar Magazine ----- 'Wonderful for their (Hill & Wiltschinsky) precision, touch and clarity of sound... refined virtuosity, the achievement of a long interpretive process.' Il Giornale D'Italia (Rome) ----- 'I loved your CD and thought your technique and performance were fabulous...' Rick Wakeman

Friday, May 25, 2007

World Premiere - 'Wheatfield under Troubled Skies' - Robin Hill

So, here it is.
We finally managed to sort out our technical difficulties, and you are now able to listen to the world premiere of, 'Wheatfield under Troubled Skies'.
But first, let me set the scene.
This piece was composed about three years ago and it may surprise you to find that there isn't actually a guitar within earshot!
It is from a work for piano and orchestra - 'Three Van Gogh Portraits'.
The first movement, (The Journey South) depicts Vincent's train journey from Paris to Arles, and the third, (Yellow House) describes the frenzied creativity and energy of the artist's studio. The second movement, which can be listened to today is 'Wheatfield under Troubled Skies'.

Robin has always had a fascination for Vincent Van Gogh. The title, 'Wheatfield under Troubled Skies', is taken from one of Van Gogh's most dramatic works painted during his final creative period in Auvers.
The painting depicts a wheatfield, literally under a dark, oppressive, and threatening sky. There is an uneasy, brooding feel about the whole image, which reflects his sombre and desperate mood. The sun tries to break through occasionally but is doomed to failure.

With that in mind, we approach the music.
The opening theme is sparse and bare, stated on solo piano, and reflecting a scene of great beauty but all here is not well.....

As the movement progresses it has a rural, pastoral feel, with each appearance of the piano, getting ever more complex and involved, yet retaining the dark mood and reflecting the inner struggle in Van Gogh's mind.
The movement culminates with a rumour of thunder represented by a distant glissandi on the timpani.

The score itself was composed using Sibelius software and, on this recording, is played through a Roland 1080 sound module.
This is, of course, a pale substitute for a real orchestra, but gives a rough impression of the how the work sounds. We hope to record this piece for real in the very near future.. all we need is an orchestra and pianist...anybody out there?....

Listen, and I hope you enjoy. (Click on play and wait a few seconds for the piece to start)

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Anonymous said...

Brilliant,haunting and evocative.I would love to hear this by an orchestra.If it can sound this good on a composer program,a proper airing can only bode well.Anna it must be great to hear these pieces come together in your home.Is there a chance we could see the picture it relates to,thanks

Anna said...

Alan d,
Many thanks for your comments and I'm delighted you enjoyed the piece.
Yes, it is great to hear any piece as it's composed, bar by bar..., but a delight to hear the final version.
Real musicians will always be the answer to get the most out of any piece, so we hope that will happen soon.
I have been scouring the internet for the original picture to include in the blog, but, as yet, haven't found it.
I'll keep looking though!