The Hart's Grace
Brown, James Francis
The Hart’s Grace was specially written for the inaugural concert of the Hertfordshire Festival of Music in 2016.
There are two characters in this short piece: a human observer and a wild deer. The music starts from the human perspective – static, restless, even troubled. Then, as if from the corner of the eye, the enchanting deer emerges – magical, elusive, free. Here the music flows with broad and gentle contours in an ‘other-worldly’ spirit until the human yearning for the seemingly unattainable freedom of the deer interrupts the motion, this time, with greater intensity and dissonance. But it is the deer that leads the music into the distance and the future.
Thinking of the wonderfully expressive range of the musicians for whom I was writing, I decided on a symbolic and reflective mood for the piece, so the county emblem of the ‘hart’ or ‘stag’ seemed ideal. The phonetic play on the words ‘hart' and ‘heart’ is, of course, intentional and suggested the thought that however restricted our lives may seem, our imaginations can always set us free.
Violin and Piano