Petits Bateaux Dansants

Music of Sally Greenaway
Commissioned by Muses Trio

Greenaway's second piano trio, Petits Bateaux Dansants (Little Dancing Boats) paints an impressionist-inspired water landscape that explores a series of vignettes: a sparkling fountain spray; children playing with toy sail boats; waterfowl and water-nymphs that inhabit the murky depths.

In describing her process, Greenaway says, "the music is a window into a park in Paris, as seen through the lens of an impressionist painter."

"The vivid lake scenes, with rowboats and ducks, painted by impressionist artists Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt masterfully mimic the movement of water with vigorous dashes of colour brushed onto their canvases. This energy and texture was something I wanted to explore in the music."

Nestled at the doorstep of the Louvre museum is the famous Tuileries Garden, which has been central to Paris' art and culture for almost 500 years.

The park encompasses shady wooded groves, grand symmetrical tree-lined avenues, impressive statues, embroidery-like garden beds outlined with neatly trimmed hedges, open terraces and water features.

One of the park's large round ponds is especially popular with children, where they can captain a toy sail boat in a colourful flotilla, a tradition dating back to 1850.

A breath of wind in the sails of these small boats

and, with them, sails the happiness of the children

(The park is also home to the Musée de l'Orangerie, which houses Monet's famous water lily murals.)

Commissioned by Therese Milanovic, the premiere performance was given by Muses Trio for International Womens' Day on 9 March 2023 at the University of Queensland.

Category: Chamber: Trio to Large Ensemble;
Instrumentation: Trio: Piano, Violin, Cello
Year: 2023
Work duration: 5min
Difficulty/level: Advanced
Commissioned by: Theresa Milanovic for Muses Trio

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