Echoes of Narcissus for Two Piccolos and Piano
- Staff Pick
This is a very good piece for this unusual combination. It's a good simply because the piccolos are used not as big solo instruments but as a part of a three-way texture. They weave in and out, sometimes merging as one, sometimes adding a flash of colour but always staying within the same soundworld. On the practical side, both piccolo parts are relatively low and the challenge does not lie in the technical difficulty. This would make an effective contrast in a mixed concert and is really lovely to play.
From the Publisher
Echoes of Narcissus is based on the story in Greek mythology of Narcissus. Narcissus meaning 'sleep, numbness, was a hunter who was renowned for his beauty. He fell in lovel with his own reflection in a pool, not realizing it was an image, and he wasted away to death not being able to leave the beauty of his own reflection. He pined away and was changed into the flower that bears his name.
The piece starts off with the piccolos bouncing theire reflections back and forth, while the piano lays down a calm watery reflective surface. The piccolos are quickly mesmerized by the image on the other side.
Whilst being transfixed, a fight or struggle for Narcissus takes place. Does he tear himself away from the beauty he doth see? Or does he walk away and rejoin the world? He simply can not move. Eventually the years move on, and he wastes away and is then transformed inot a flower.
Performance duration (approx): 7'
Difficulty level, roughly compared to ABRSM exam grades. 0 is beginner, 9 is advanced (beyond grade 8).