Instrumentation violin, cello, piano
First Performance 22 February 2014, The Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada; The Albany Trio: Gemma Sharples (violin), Verity Evanson (cello), and Pippa Harrison (piano)
Commissioned by the Albany Piano Trio, recipients of the Richard Carne Junior Fellowship for Chamber Ensemble with Piano 2013/14
1.7.14 Royal College of Music, London, The Albany Trio
19.10.14 The Forge, Camden, The Albany Trio
6.6.15 York Late Music St. Saviourgate Unitarian Chapel, York, The Albany Trio
27.11.15 The University of Manchester, Vaganza Ensemble
14.08.16 BBC Proms Extra, The Albany Piano Trio
21.10.16 Stratford Upon Avon Music Festival, The Contemporary Consort
4.12.16 Aberystwyth, U.K., The Del Mar Piano Trio
Those Secret Eyes is loosely inspired by Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and principally the plays’ female characters: Lady Macbeth and the Witches. Set at night, it holds dark undercurrents of suspicion, sin, superstition, and mistrust. Governed by the principal themes of appearance and reality, and ambition and guilt, the piece is driven by a cruel, dry energy.
The scheming, tightly wound opening, strings playing single sul ponticello lines punctuated by the piano, seems as if they are conspiring together and daring each other. The plot thickens with the music becoming faster, more excitable and heavier. Even the melodic lines before the climax are unsettlingly cold and calculated. We wind up back to similar material seen at the opening, as if this short meeting has come to a close, veiled agenda set.