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Blue Work


Touched

for solo piano

Year:  2013   ·  Duration:  9m 30s

Year:  2013
Duration:  9m 30s

Composer:   Anthony Ritchie

Films, Audio & Samples

Anthony Ritchie: Touched; a...

Internal audio
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Sample Score

Sample: pages 1 - 4

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Borrow/Hire:

To borrow items or hire parts please email SOUNZ directly at info@sounz.org.nz.

About

Touched was commissioned by Stephen de Pledge for inclusion in a Chamber Music New Zealand tour on the theme of love, in 2014. The piece is in a single movement, using a slow-fast structure with the two sections being related thematically. It begins with a soulful melody, which is based around 3 distinct shapes: motif 1, in bars 1-2 (C-B-E-D), motif 2 in bar 3 (A-B-D-C-B-E) and motif 3 in bar 4 (E flat-A-D). Motifs 2 and 3 represent a pair of lovers, while motif 1 is based on the word ‘touched’, using the German note names for the last 4 letters. Touching can be an expression of love, but the specific word ‘touched’ also suggests madness: being in love can sometimes be a type of madness. Touch is also a pianistic term, and this piece attempts to survey a variety of touches, from very smooth to very jagged. For example, the lyrical and smooth melody at the start is interrupted by a penetrating 2-note gesture in bar 10, representing a bird-call. Bird-calls recur throughout the piece as a sort of backdrop to the human expressions, distracting the lovers and providing musical contrast. A similar thing occurs at the start of the quick section (bar 53), where the long smooth lines are juxtaposed with a bird-call in bars 71-3. This section has a more turbulent feel, including a violent section (bar 138-160) where the squawking of birds becoming the arguing of humans. This conflict re-surfaces near the end, but is resolved in the short coda, and the piece ends as it began, with the ‘touched’ motif.


Dedication note

Dedicated to Sandy.


Performance history

Performed by Stephen De Pledge.