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979-0-57080-034-6 Chartres – Score Available at MusicRoom Buy now (£5.95)


Much of my recent music has been motivated by an interest in medieval history, nourished by visits to cathedrals, abbeys and castles around the UK and Europe – and the places that surround me at home in York.

This piece was inspired by the labyrinth in the nave of the magnificent gothic cathedral at Chartres, dating from the early 13th century. Unlike a maze, there is only one route to follow through the labyrinth, (intended to symbolize a pilgrimage: the long, winding path towards salvation).

The melodic shape, implied harmonic movement, dynamic curve and performance techniques of this piece are all derived from the shape of the labyrinth, and it represents an attempt to convey the sense of the solo viola player exploring the meandering twists and turns of the labyrinth in musical terms. The performer’s journey begins at the outer edge of the labyrinth and moves inexorably towards the centre, where harmony is finally allowed to flourish.

Chartres was composed during the Spring of 2022 in York and Paris, and is dedicated to Rachel Miller.


7 minutes 40 seconds

Dedicated to Rachel Miller


Rachel Miller, Hull Minster, 5th November 2022

1 Viola
Composition date


5 November 2022 Hull Minster

Rachel Miller (solo viola) - WORLD PREMIERE