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Happy Birthday Mom!
sinuhe  by inkeri
Happy birthday Dad!!
Dirge and Dance by Elliot Teo
Samuel Phua

Dirge and Dance by Elliot Teo

Rhapsodic Stories at the Esplanade Recital Studio Supported by the National Arts Council Presentation and Participation Grant and National Youth Council Young Changemaker Grant Dirge and Dance by Elliot Teo Performed by Samuel Phua (sop sax), Michellina Chan (bari sax), and Abigail Sin (piano) Recorded by Trinutty Film Studios Heavy footsteps tread Through desolate graveyard grounds Mournful tears fall A cathartic dance Suddenly breaks through the gloom Burying all grief Dirge and Dance is a work for standard piano trio comprising two continuously played movements, and was inspired in part by Benjamin Britten’s early Sinfonia da Reqiuem for orchestra, Op.20. Like in Britten’s work, the overall structure of Dirge and Dance is informed by a narrative outline that moves from heavy, lugubrious trudging in its first movement, the Dirge, to an outburst of frenzied activity, captured in the Dance. The Dirge begins with baleful, pile-driving chords in the piano, which form the backdrop to a mournful melody presented by the baritone saxophone. A loud, tutti statement of the first mournful subject is soon reached, after which the music recedes into a quieter middle section, where a slithering second subject, introduced on the violin, abounds. The texture gradually thickens, as fragments of the second subject are tossed from one instrument to another in the ensemble, before the first subject is restated on the piano, banged out in fistfuls of chords. Thereafter, the music crescendos towards yet another climax, which this time, propels itself headlong into the second movement, the Dance. Beset with a relentlessly chugging triple meter, the Dance bounds forward with unbridled energy, introducing new material while harkening back to previously stated ideas. Towards the end, the music is ushered into an extended fugato section recalling the slithering second subject of the Dirge. This, in turn, builds to a final climatic reprise of the work’s mournful opening melody, played by the two stringed instruments at the very top of their registers while the piano hammers out earth-shaking chords below. With its structural apex reached, the intensity of the music peters out, as if spent of all its energy, before a sudden, whirlwind coda shatters the quiet, bringing the work to a rip-roaring close.
Somewhere over the rainbow