Rachael Hutchings

Pianist, Composer

Scores available at Veritas Musica Publishing

She Drops the Silver Chain of Sound for solo saw and orchestra

I wrote She Drops the Silver Chain of Sound for Caroline McCaskey, after hearing her play the saw in 2011. I was inspired by her wonderful skill and hoped to write something like Ralph Vaughan Williams’ work for solo violin and orchestra, The Lark Ascending. She Drops the Silver Chain of Sound begins with a storm scene, followed by the emergence of the lark, represented by the solo saw. The storm trembles again in the distance and then, completely recedes. The lark returns, and ascends gracefully. The title comes from the poem The Lark Ascending by George Meredith (1828–1909), which inspired Vaughan Williams’ work.

He rises and begins to round,
He drops the silver chain of sound
Of many links without a break,
In chirrup, whistle, slur and shake,
All intervolv’d and spreading wide,
Like water-dimples down a tide
Where ripple ripple overcurls
And eddy into eddy whirls;
A press of hurried notes that run
So fleet they scarce are more than one,
Yet changingly the trills repeat
And linger ringing while they fleet. . .