Christopher Leedham

composer | conductor | teacher

Premiere of ‘An unknown loss’ by Martin Scheuregger

Posted on 16 December 2011

I recently took part in the premiere of Martin Scheuregger‘s An unknown loss as part of the Chimera Ensemble. Martin’s piece – a trio for singing viola, clarinet, and piano – takes its inspiration from a single sentence: “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” 

At first glance this text seems a fragment, but after a moment the narrative completeness becomes painfully clear. A mere newspaper advertisement (attributed to Ernest Hemingway), there is nothing in the text which is in and of itself tragic, yet the logical conclusion we will no doubt come to speaks of emotional suffering of the highest degree. This is a moving text, and that we are able to be thus moved by mere implication is curious.

Here is the live recording from the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall at the University of York, with Vic Bernath (viola and voice) and Emily Worthington (clarinet).