Premiered by violinist Rupert Marshall-Luck and pianist Matthew Rickard at the National Concert Hall, Dublin in 2010, with subsequent performances at the Birmingham (UK) Fine Arts Institute and the Concertzaal, In den Wouwdfluit, Wouw in Holland.
Rupert Marshall-Luck has written the following program note:
“Mirage, composed in 2000, is conceived as a work for duo – a piece in which both instruments have equally important roles, and therefore are equally prominent; in textural and registral terms their lines are clearly delineated throughout. Atmospherically, and as its title suggests, the work has a dream-like nature and this is enhanced by the elusive pulse, which, coupled with the active melodic lines, gives the effect of a forwards momentum occurring in the context of a landscape in which time and space are suspended.
The work is built from three principal ideas. The first, opening with a melody in descending thirds in the piano, is answered by a trance-like line, moving in step-wise motion, in the violin. The second idea is introduced – again in the piano – by a hypnotic ostinato, reminiscent of a folk harp; and against this the violin sings a soulful, melancholic line which is increasingly elaborated as it unfolds. The climax that ensues serves to launch the third theme, which is characterised by poised, sustained chords in the piano, complemented by richly-decorated and embellished figures in the violin. A longer, more intense climax results from the juxtaposition of these two elements, after which the second theme reappears; but its poignant musings are interrupted by a stern declamation. The first theme returns in a heartfelt statement just before the closing paragraph, which is built from fragments of earlier-stated material, now heard as in a dissolving dream.”
© Rupert Marshall-Luck, 2010