Peane for Hyacinth opens with a dark and cold first movement introduces the listener to the
main musical material present throughout the work. This bleeds into the opening chords of
the second movement. The second movement is relatively conventional in its structure with
passages for soloists, orchestra, and a cadenza followed by a coda. The third movement is a
short flourish for the orchestra, a sort of “dawn chorus” followed by a duet or love song for
the two soloists with some interjections from the orchestra.
The work’s title and inspiration come from the mythology of Hyacinth who loved Apollo but
in an attempt to show off to the God, the young hero threw a discus and in trying to catch it
the west wind Zephyr killed him. It is from his death that the flower bearing his name was
A “peane” is a hymn in the name of Apollo. This work is a depiction of a love song the young
hero (the clarinet) may have sung to Apollo (in traditional Greek mythology represented by
the Lyre – in this composition, the Harp).
The orchestra’s role at the beginning is as Zephyr, eventually taking over by the end of the
movement. The third movement, (dawn chorus) is inspired by the natural world followed by a
final love duet for the hero and the God.
This work was premiered as a three-movement version in August 2012 with myself playing
clarinet, Catherine Ashley on harp and the Victorian Youth Symphony Orchestra conducted
by Patrick Burns. Tonight, we hear the recently revised version which includes a new first