Swan Diversions

Swan Diversions


Click the links below to hear the movements:

1. Dancing, Diving and Other Forms of Exercise
2. Floating Serenely
3. Chasing and Biting the Onlookers

SKU: FM784 Categories: , ,


Swan Diversions is a set of three pieces of program music. The subject of the narrative is the everyday habits of swans. Where I studied, at Mount Allison University in Canada, there was a pond with swans in it just beside the Music Conservatory. The swans were endlessly amusing and provided a great diversion for music students who needed an occasional break from practising. In the first movement, Dancing, Diving and other Forms of Exercise, there are a couple of familiar melodic fragments which I have ‘borrowed’ from well-known composers. They are slightly altered and not presented in their original harmonic context. The first (M43-48) is from The Swan by Camille Saint-Saëns. The second (M103-109), is from Schwanengesang or Swan Song by Franz Schubert. In the second movement, Floating Serenely, I have attempted to convey the exquisite beauty of a swan floating gracefully along the water. In the third movement, Chasing and Biting the Onlookers, one of the special techniques employed by the oboe produces what is known as multiphonics. I used this sound to represent the angry squawking of a swan. Swan Diversions had its world première by Donald Boere (oboe) and myself (piano) at the University of Toronto, Canada on June 1, 2017 – Beverly Lewis

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