Etudes de concert 1

Composition


Inglis, B. 2023. Etudes de concert 1. Composers Edition.
Title of workEtudes de concert 1
CreatorsInglis, B.
Description

Études de concert comprises a suite of pieces which, as the title implies, provide concert repertoire while also exploring aspects of the instruments’ characters and approaches to writing for them, using contemporary recorder techniques.
1. Air
The first piece, Air, for alto recorder, is the most straightforward. Inspired by Scottish traditional music, it focuses on the projection and articulation of a melody through different levels of decoration. The structure is based on the late Renaissance/early Baroque concept of ‘divisions’, familiar from the works of Jan van Eyck, for instance. The usual pattern of increasing elaboration is reversed, however, so the piece starts with a moto perpetuo then reduces the pace to reveal the unadorned melody at the end, in a progressive stripping away of accretions.
2. Paraphrase on 'O virga mediatrix'
Paraphrase, for tenor recorder, is based on the Alleluia trope ‘O virga mediatrix’ by Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179). Hildegard’s melodic material appears most notably in the final section, where the long melisma on the last word of the text, ‘orto’, is quoted directly. Besides highlighting the projection and phrasing of melody, Paraphrase provides a gentle introduction to singing while playing, microtonal inflections, and glissandi.
3. Fuga
Fuga for descant recorder was written in 2007 as a 40th birthday present for my friend and first commissioner and interpreter of my recorder music, David Maycock. The idea of writing a fugue for solo recorder was suggested to me by JS Bach’s example in his violin sonatas. The concept has also been explored by Joe Parks in a piece published in the Winter 2019 issue of The Recorder Magazine; the first attempt at the genre appears to have been the fugato conclusion of Arnold Cooke’s Serial Theme and Variations for solo treble, written for Michael Vetter (Schott ED 11666, 1968). Various means are used to suggest different voices – the use of different registers in quick succession; leaps across the whole range of the instrument; dialogue effects between the different registers; and of course multiphonics, which temporarily produce simultaneous sounds. There is also a suggestion of the literal meaning of the Italian word Fuga-flight-in the virtuosic, mercurial passages of continuous fast notes. The idea being to use virtuosity to produce a kind of ‘meta’ recorder (like the meta piano which Brian Ferneyhough identifies in Michael Finnissy’s fourth piano concerto), while keeping the technical demands within the bounds of a good semi-professional player.
4. Tema con transformazioni
Tema con transformazioni for alto and sopranino recorder features more advanced microtones, and the ‘tema’ encodes the name of Irish poet William Butler Yeats, whose poem Sailing to Byzantium inspired my first and longest work for solo recorder player (originally titled Gyres; published by Composers Edition ce-bi1stb1 ISMN 9790570681228). The theme is transformed musically as a metaphor for the transformation of the poet into an ornamental bird in the poem Sailing to Byzantium.

Output mediaMusic score
Sustainable Development Goals3 Good health and well-being
Middlesex University ThemeCreativity, Culture & Enterprise
Research GroupMusic group
LanguageEnglish
Publisher or commissioning bodyComposers Edition
First publicly available date
PrintJan 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited02 May 2023
Output statusPublished
Web address (URL)https://composersedition.com/brian-inglis-etudes-de-concert-1/
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