Julian Wagstaff
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A Persistent Illusion (a chemistry of music) by Julian Wagstaff

A Persistent Illusion - for clarinet, cello and piano (2011)

A Persistent Illusion has just been released on a high-quality audio CD entitled 'Breathe Freely', on the prestigious Linn Records label. The recording features some of Scotland's finest classical musicians, including Mark Bailey of the Edinburgh Quartet on cello. Please select one of the options below to purchase the CD, which comes with a 68-page full-colour booklet. You can also order through your local record store.


Click the 'Play' button below to listen to an excerpt from the third movement of the piece, taken from the recent Linn Records recording:

The performers appearing on the recording are:

Pete Furniss - Clarinet
Mark Bailey - Cello
Andrew Johnston - Piano

Or, click below to watch an excerpt from a live video recording of A Persistent Illusion on YouTube, performed by Pete Furniss, Su-a Lee and Andrew Johnston in the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh in 2013:

(If the above doesn't work, click here.)

This piece was commissioned by the Royal Society of Chemistry* to celebrate International Year of Chemistry 2011 and has enjoyed numerous performances since, including at the Aberdour and Dalkeith (Midfest) festivals in 2014 and a Portuguese premiere in 2016. A Persistent Illusion received its first performance at a most memorable and well attended concert given by Hebrides Ensemble in Edinburgh's Canongate Kirk on 12th December 2011, entitled 'A Chemistry of Music'. The performers were as follows:

Jean Johnson - Clarinet
Will Conway - Cello
Scott Mitchell - Piano

Click Here to read a review of the concert in the Scotsman newspaper.

Click Here to download the souvenir concert programme in PDF format.

Get the sheet music (full score and instrumental parts) for A Persistent Illusion right now as a digital download from SheetMusicPlus:

Buy the sheet music for Julian Wagstaff's piano trio A Persistent Illusion online today!

Composer Julian Wagstaff writes about A Persistent Illusion:

"My brief in writing this piece was that it should celebrate the past, present and future of chemistry in Edinburgh and Southeast Scotland. The title refers to Einstein's observation that the distinction between past, present and future is merely a 'stubbornly persistent illusion'.

The third movement of the work derives from my workshops with school students and teachers at Balerno High School and Gracemount High School in Edinburgh. Participants were asked to produce note patterns on manuscript paper inspired by their knowledge of chemical structures and formulae, and everything in this movement is derived from these ideas."


*Edinburgh and SE Scotland local section