One late evening in Utrecht, Netherlands, I came upon the guitar duo arrangement for Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ “Farewell to Stromness.” I was searching for “Mark Francis” the guitarist and composer who had contributed two piano duets to my Call for Scores. Another guitarist by the same name had arranged the Stromness piece from piano to guitar duo.
The music was captivating from the moment I played it online. Strikingly moving and timeless, I daresay.
That I had written a review of a concert of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies in Amsterdam made the composer’s work even more significant to me. The guitar duo version was so beautiful and instantly addictive that I had to find the solo guitar version for Robert Bekkers to play.
Listening to Farewell to Stromness takes me on a sentimental journey to the past. It’s one of those pieces that will always put me at rest.
I wanted desperately to play it tonight. But I was not able to find free sheet music to download. I could order the sheet music if I can’t find it in the libraries. Or I can simply take the guitar solo version and reverse engineer it to the original piano solo version.
As it approaches full moon and the 10th anniversary of 9-11, I am filled with nostalgia. How else to express that fateful event which changed my life 10 years ago in New York City?
Below is the recording Robert e-mailed me from Boston.
If you are curious about the background to the music and the location of Stromness, check out the video. There are also piano, guitar quartet, and solo harp versions on Youtube.