Judith Bailey: Light Op. 76

Trio for violin, viola and piano

Composed at the request of Juliet Davey and Lucy White, and written in memory of Isabel.

"To everything there is a season - a time to be born and a time to die"

Composer's Programme Note:

The quotations at the beginning of the each of the four movements were chosen to express a slow return to light following the darkness of the loss of Isabel.

1. "O darkness more precious than the light" (St. John of the Cross). The opening motif is taken from letters found within the full names of Juliet and Lucy. After its initial appearance the music moves forward using a broken chord version of the opening harmonies, only to return to the dark mood of the opening.

2. "Silent silver lights, and darks undreamed of, where I hush and bless myself with silence" is taken from Browning. The music is quicker here with perhaps a wistful quality. There is a short dramatic passage in the centre before the music returns to its opening mood.

3. "Thou sayest farewell, and lo! I have thee by the hand and will not let thee go." The words of Robert Bridges suggested to me the initial anguish of loss, soon to be followed by a sort of irregular waltz rhythm for the violin and viola, suggesting the state of disbelief which follows, and the knowledge that both of you remain together in spirit. At the end of the movement, the opening anguished bars are transformed into a feeling of acceptance.

4. The anonymous words "Replace the darkness within me with a gentle light" brings back the opening motif of the work. There follows a quicker dotted pattern accompaniment with the motif gently spread above. Perhaps there is a hint of the trudging journey as life has to continue. When the opening motif appears for the final bars it is transformed, suggesting some form of recovery of spirit.

Performance Note: The words applying to each movement could be read before the start of each - at the player's discretion.