The Song of Amergin
for pianoduration: 12'00"
published by: Composer
Winner of the Barclaycard National Composition Award, 1983.
This piece is named after an ancient pantheistic poem in Goidelic discussed by Robert Graves in his examination of poetic myth, The White Goddess. It is prefaced by the following lines:
I am a stag of seven tines,
I am a wide flood upon a plain,
I am a wind on deep waters;
Ravening I roam the hills,
I descend in tears like dew,
I lie glittering…
I am a threatening noise of the sea,
I return again like the receding wave….
The work calls for a virtuoso technique throughout. It begins with a slow ‘dawn chorus’ before launching into a ferocious Allegro entitled Meridian. A slower central passage recalls the mood and tonality of the opening section before the fast music returns. This sweeps to an immense climax before an unexpectedly hushed and retrospective ending. Following the success of this work in the Barclaycard National Composition Award, 1983, a non-commercial studio recording was made by Hamish Milne.