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Piers Hellawell The Building of Curves (1998)

For piano quartet

12 minutes


This work is set in a two-movement form, balancing active and contemplative pieces, that concerned me throughout the 1990s. The first movement begins as a celebratory fanfare before giving way to a more reflective music, while the second movement is slow, and much darker in expression.  The title reflected two non-musical background elements: firstly, the work came into being partly as a celebration of Frank Gehry’s elaborately curved Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao; in addition the shape of the work reflected Andrew Wiles’ solution to Fermat’s Last Theorem, which was achieved by making a link between two apparently unrelated ideas.                                                                                                                         


© Piers Hellawell


The Building of Curves was commissioned by The Schubert Ensemble with funds provided by The Arts Council of England and the Schubert Ensemble Trust and was premiered at the Spitalfields Festival on 18th June 1998.

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