Le Parc Monceau

Music of Sally Greenaway
Commissioned by Mary and Michael Tatchell, and Theresa Milanovic for Muses Trio

Le Parc Monceau is inspired by the public park in Paris, France, which opened in 1891. It was a popular destination for impressionist painters, especially Monet who painted several scenes there, each characterised by their fleeting impressions of goings on in the park, with subtle interplay between light and shadow.

These characteristics are important elements which Greenaway has attempted to capture in the music. There is a strong focus on interplay between the instruments, and musical colour is explored with harmonics, pizzicato, tremolos and extensive use of the piano's pedals. The performers are stretched in their command of soft playing, with several sections in the piece asking for a tranquil and glasslike effect from the strings, and muted una chorda pedal from the piano. Other sections ask for shimmering and glistening effects with tremolo strings and pulsating arpeggios from the piano. Overall, the piece is a delightful study in detached observation of a public garden 'painted' with sound.

The catalyst for writing this piano trio was Mary and Michael Tatchell, to whom she has dedicated this piece in celebration of their 50th Wedding Anniversary. They wanted to commission a piece of music to contribute to the Australian repertoire that drew upon their shared history - the violin and cello are instruments their children Jeremy and Ben learnt while growing up, and both Michael and Mary are pianists. Their passion for French impressionist history and art gave a clear direction for Greenaway's compositional aesthetic, which is inspired by painters Claude Monet and Marie Bracquemond, and composers Maurice Ravel and Lili Boulanger.

The premiere performance was given by Muses Trio for International Womens' Day on 11 March 2021 at the University of Queensland.

Le Parc Monceau was co-commissioned by Mary and Michael Tatchell, and Theresa Milanovic for Muses Trio.

Category: Chamber: Trio to Large Ensemble;
Instrumentation: Trio: Piano, Violin, Cello
Year: 2021
Work duration: 10min
Difficulty/level: Advanced
Commissioned by: Mary and Michael Tatchell, and Theresa Milanovic for Muses Trio

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