Improvisations "De Profundis", opus 76 (1977)

For harpsichord.

Completed in 1977 this work is a set of continuous variations on a tune announced initially "in the depths" of the harpsichord.  It tries to use for the most part the lyrical and contrapuntal potentialities of the harpsichord and is meant to be played on an instrument of eighteenth-century design.
The various sections may be briefly described as (1) slow and extended melodic development of the theme; (2) a fast and more percussive treatment of the material; (3) a presto section for four foot only. iconical but still menacing; (4) a more extended central section culminating in a cadenza-like passage and a return of the opening (at this point the choral Nun danket appears but with misgivings); (5) a fugue on the main theme leading to a build-up of the opening chords; (6) a five-part polytonal canon on Nun danket.
The work as a whole strives after a point of equilibrium amid the turmoil of experience.   K.L.

The first performance was given by Kenneth Leighton himself in St Cecilia's Hall, Edinburgh on 7 June 1978.

Work Type:

Concerts by Work