Owen Leech a deeper season (2001)
For piano quartet
I composed this piano quartet for the Schubert Ensemble in the early months of 2001 whilst working and studying in Warsaw, a commission made possible through the generosity of Richard and Diana Toeman in celebration of their fortieth wedding anniversary, and premiered by the Ensemble in Bristol in March 2002. The work takes its title (though not its inspiration) from the lovely if characteristically elusive Cummings poem which prefaces the score:
yes is a pleasant country:
let’s open the year
both is the very weather
when violets appear
love is a deeper season
my sweet one
(and april’s where we’re)
(E.E. Cummings: Complete Poems, 1904-1962, New York, Liveright Books, 1994)
In fact, I had neither this poem nor any other in mind during the composition of the work, but it mirrors the lyricism and elation of the final section of the quartet, which is achieved only after a lengthy progress away from the fragmentation and alienation of the opening. If anything, the music betrays my joy and relief at the coming of spring after a perishingly cold and dark Polish winter!
© Owen Leech 2001
'a deeper season' was commissioned by the Schubert Ensemble with funds generously provided by Richard and Diana Toeman. It was first performed by the Schubert Ensemble at the Victoria Rooms, Bristol University on 20th March 2002.