Non Sequitur Music

The Sun, the Plough and the Hazel Tree

Play the middle section (2'16") of The Sun, the Plough and the Hazel Tree, as performed live by Peter Pearse, flute; Marcela Argeles, clarinet; Jennifer Lee, violin; Pablo Mahave, cello; Holly Roadfeldt, piano; David Heuser, conductor.















Composer: David Heuser
Instrumentation: flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano
Year Composed: 1992
Duration: 9 minutes
Pages (score): 37
Cost: Purchase: $25.00

Representative Performances:

  • National Kaohsiung Normal University Contemporary Chamber Music Ensemble, Taiwan, Republic of China (1999)
  • Sarah Baird Fouse, fl; Terence Small,cl; Janna Lower, vln; Mark Tanner, vcl; Kevin Sharpe, piano, SCI Regional, University of Florida, Gainsville, FL (November 1993)
  • Peter Pearse, fl; Marcela Argeles, cl; Jennifer Lee, vln; Pablo Mahave, vcl.; Holly Roadfeldt, piano; David Heuser, cond., Indiana University, Bloomington, IN (November 1992)


Performance 10/99 reviewed in the San Antonio Express News by Mike Greenburg:

"...a work with a strong narrative structure and some lovely, poignant moments."

Program Notes:

The Sun, the Plough and the Hazel Tree, for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano, was written from January to March of 1992. It is approximately nine minutes in duration.

The title of the work comes from an adaptation of the legendary Irish Book of Invasions. These items (the Sun, the Plough and the Hazel Tree) are magical emblems of the stored wisdom and skill of the Tuatha De Danann, the mythical, prehistorical heroic people of Irish folklore. Direct connects aside, there is a "sunny" quality to the music that was suggested by the depiction of the arrival of the Tuatha De Danann. Spotted only by Tuan, a man turned into a sea-eagle, the Tuatha flew into Ireland over heavy clouds in a fleet of magical long ships with bright shields and silken banners and so on. The collective picture of the full scene is quite impressive.

This is not, however, a programmatic piece. It's not even a consciously "picture-painting" piece. The basic form of the work is A-B-C-B'-A'. The first A (about the first four minutes of the work) consists of an introduction (flute alone) which develops into a longer pastoral section. This is followed by four shorter sections (which could be called x-y-x'-y'), with suggestions of the initial material appearing throughout. The B sections contain louder and faster music, and some indeterminate techniques are utilized. Repetitions of note patterns occur in these indeterminate bits. The middle C section is about two minutes long. It recalls the opening mood with a long melody which begins in the clarinet and then moves to the flute. After the second B part, the opening material is referred to in a short coda (A').

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