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The consolation of rain

composer

 
We all take consolation from different things, and without wanting to be overly morbid, I would like to think that after I die, my loved ones could take consolation from the sense that I was quite literally all around them, in the air, water and earth as part of the natural cycle of things. There are numerous poems on this theme, including the famous 'Do not stand at my grave and weep' by Mary Elizabeth Frye in which, rather than being dead, the deceased speaks directly to us: 'I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am the sunlight on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain.' Clearly I am not alone in my way of thinking there is something very moving about the idea that you can reconnect with someone you’ve lost simply by looking at nature.

Perhaps an inevitable topic for an Englishman, the focus in this piece is rain. Taking Debussy’s method of portraying the sea in La mer as something of a model, the piece is primarily an abstract musical construction, but one that constantly and variously evokes different aural images of rain, whether it be rippling, glistening, dripping, rumbling, swooshing or showering; gathering pace or subsiding; distantly echoing or vigorously present. But throughout, the impression is of rain not as dark and depressing, but as something positive, consoling, life-affirming and renewing—the ‘gentle autumn rain’ mentioned in the Frye poem.

The consolation of rain is in five short movements, each in a way, a kind of ‘song without words’.

from notes by David Bruce © 2019

Recordings

Bruce: The north wind was a woman & other chamber music
Studio Master: SIGCD599Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

Details

Movement 1: I.
Track 9 on SIGCD599 [4'49] Download only
Movement 2: II.
Track 10 on SIGCD599 [3'17] Download only
Movement 3: III.
Track 11 on SIGCD599 [6'18] Download only
Movement 4: IV.
Track 12 on SIGCD599 [3'50] Download only
Movement 5: V.
Track 13 on SIGCD599 [4'50] Download only

Track-specific metadata

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