header logo

Mountains Wild Against the Sea

by Anthony and Simon Ritchie, for eight cello and piano, Opus 224 (2024)

An energetic, upbeat piece for a group of cellists of varying abilities.

Duration: 5 minutes
Commissioned by: Canterbury Cellos

The title Mountains Wild against the Sky comes from a song of the same name by the composer's brother, Simon Ritchie, who was inspired by the mountains around the North Canterbury area, such as Mt Richardson. With Simon's permission, Anthony re-composed the song for 8 cellos and piano.

The piece starts with the verse and chorus structure of the original, but then develops more freely, ranging through different keys and changing speed. Countermelodies to the main tune are woven into the piece, and lines are freely shared among the group. The piece is energetic and upbeat in character, reflecting the spirit of the song.

   The wind is wild when the nor'west blows
   Down from the mountains wrapped in rain
   I loved these places when I was young
   Wandered up there again and again

   The mountains wild against the sky
   The mountain stream and the mountain tree
   The bellbird's song, the kea's cry
   They seem to call me back from across the sea
           Simon Ritchie