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for Violin and Piano

This enchanting 8-minute piece for violin and piano - Oliver Knussen's penultimate work - is made up of various kinds of musical reflection: melody reflected in its inversion; a six-note mode reflected in its complement; and the relationships between the three main parts of the piece, which are in a way varied reflections of each other. There are some reflections in water, too, the work's opus number (31a) demonstrating a relationship to Knussen's unfinished Cleveland Pictures: 'The main melody began as a response to Gauguin's painting of a Breton woman swimming', Knussen wrote, 'and there is also, perhaps, an echo of the lonely underwater world of an ondine, eventually breaking the surface at the end of the piece.'

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