GRENFELL: Time Transfixed (2020) for Cello & Piano

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Time Transfixed (2020) for Cello & Piano

Maria Grenfell

Duration 7 mins

Arranged for Jonathan Békés (principal cellist with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra) Time Transfixed (originally for soprano saxophone and piano) takes its title from a René Margritte 1938 surrealist painting of the same name. The painting shows the front engine of a train emerging out of a fireplace, as if suspended. On the mantlepiece is a black clock and two candlesticks in front of a large mirror. The painting struck me as depicting an eerie pause of time. Even though the train is suspended, the colour palette seems dated, and the clock gives the impression that time has stopped, steam is coming out of the train’s boiler as if it were still moving forward. My piece aims to portray the sadness inherent in the painting, with suspended harmonies that have a slight but smooth and rocking rhythmic effect.

Time Transfixed was commissioned in 2000 by Australian saxophonist Barry Cockcroft. A version for Clarinet and Piano is also available from

Digital Score available for purchase
Digital Download includes all parts

$29.95 inc. GST