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The word abscission refers to the act of cutting off or shedding a body part, however it is most often used to describe a plant dropping one of its parts such as a fruit or a seed, or to a deciduous tree shedding its leaves in autumn. The word therefore has one meaning which could be taken to be savage and distasteful, yet in its most common usage the word conjures up a far more whimsical and melancholic association.
Structurally, the piece is made up of a series of loosely related ideas which interrupt or “cut off” each other as the work progresses, gradually moving from percussive stab chords at the beginning towards having a more serene character at the end. This work was largely influenced by George Crumb's Eleven Echoes of Autumn and uses similar instrumentation. It is dedicated to the CHROMA ensemble.
Dedicated to the CHROMA ensemble
28 Jan 2011: Performed by CHROMA - Marcus Barcham-Stevens (violin), Stuart King (viola), Sarah O’Flynn (flute) and Roderick Chadwick (piano) at the David Josefowitz Recital Hall, Royal Academy of Music, in London