Faith, Hopes and Charity
A virtousic work for solo, baroque flute
Over the last few years, I have been writing a series of pieces about boat journeys, which end up at completely unrelated places of worship I have visited. I am not a spiritual person, but am endlessly fascinated by the time, energy and human resources that have been given to creating religious buildings over the millenia. In this piece, I began with a particular memory of fishing from a slowly drifting rowing boat with my father on the Hopes Reservoir (in the Scottish Borders, one of the very few bodies of water in Scotland that is not a loch), then imagining that this ends up at the Santa Maria della Pieta church in Venice. This church was attached to an orphanage, run by resident nuns in an adjoining convent (unwanted babies were oten left in a purpose-made hole in the wall round the side of the building). This particularly orphanage and church became very famous in Italy, as Vivaldi was the resident music teacher.
He wrote many of his most famous works for the orchestra and choir (and concertos for the young musicians who were living there), the majority of whom were female (as young males were sent out to work from a younger age).
There is a large fresco inside the church called 'The Triumph of Faith' and a carved bas-relief above the front door, entitled 'Charity'. Musically, this piece is based on material that would not be out of place in a Scottish jig, but mixes this with a repeated, descending chord sequence and short, staccato outbursts, which reference some of Vivaldi's faster music.
Instrumentation Genre Solo instrument
Duration 5 minutes
Instrumentation Flute [1 player]
Publisher Tetractys _
Performances of this work
- New Work for horn quartet, by Drew Hammond
- Frammenti Capricciosi, by John McLeod
- Fantasy on themes from Britten's 'Gloriana', by John McLeod