NEW MUSIC TUESDAY | Composer Deborah Pritchard's "Gethsemane" for Solo Violin

This world premiere recording is performed by Bulgarian violinist Greta Mutlu with film by Theresa Thomas


Deborah discussed this Easter-related work with The Violin Channel.

"As we approached Easter, I felt inspired to write a solo violin piece that evoked the tranquility of the Garden of Gethsemane using a gentle melody that moved upwards towards the light," she told The Violin Channel. "I also wanted something that might translate hope after lockdown.

"I live in East London and once I had written the piece, I hand-delivered it (maintaining social distance) to my neighbor, violinist Greta Mutlu. As a composer, I'm used to the isolation of lockdown but have really missed live performances. It was incredible that Greta was able to bring my work to life in such a visionary way, with such a beautiful, translucent sound and expressive playing.

"Our friend, filmmaker Theresa Thomas, also lived in the area, so we contacted her with the idea. On one of her early morning walks, she suggested Haggerston park as a performance location after noticing the emerging blossom. Her ability to translate and illuminate the musical narrative through film was equally breathtaking! It has been such a rewarding collaboration, enabling us to be creative in a time when the arts sector has struggled so much, and to share a sense of hope with others.

"In my mind, I envisioned a peaceful melody in the Dorian mode, as a meditation on the Garden of Gethsemane. I began the piece with a rising minor seventh, which is symbolic of the journey upwards from dark to light. I continued to build the narrative in timbre and intensity to the violin’s uppermost lyrical voice, using open strings to create further resonance and luminosity. Greta’s beautiful expression and tone brought my music to life, whilst Theresa’s moving film elevated the narrative even further in a visionary way.

"It would be wonderful if this piece helped the listener to experience a moment of tranquility and hope, particularly in the challenging times we are in."