Document Type

Creative Work

Publication Details

Mary P. Finsterer, Spherica 1 (for violin duet), Audio-visual recording CD, Tall Poppies, Sydney, New South Wales, 2009. Dowload a performance of the work here (18.5MB mp3 file); see also information on Finsterer's work since 2002 available here.



Research Background

The title Spherica I originates from the research of astronomer Theodosius of Bithynia (ca. 100) who wrote three books concerning great and small circles on the sphere, which is reflected in the structural framework of the work with its use of multiple rotating ‘spheres’ or cycles.

Spherica I was commissioned for the esteemed solo violists Natsuko Yoshimoto and James Cuddeford, with assistance from Fr Arthur Bridge and Charles Davidson.

Research Contribution

This work allowed the composer to explore nuance and subtlety through specific articulations employed to support the structural framework of the work as a whole. The ethereal nature of harmonics that characterise the entire work, mirrors the notion of astronomy as the study of the heavenly realm. The music draws upon the atmospheric and other-worldly allusions of the study of astronomy.

Research Significance

This work was recorded by Tall Poppies and appears on the CD entitled Metallic Violins, a compilation of innovative new works by contemporary Australian composers. ‘Mary Finsterer’s Spherica I tuned into the idiomatic sound of violin harmonics, passed between the players in circular fashion with floating rhythms to create a serene, ungrounded ethereal quality.' Sydney Morning Herald, 23 November 2008.