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Minnelieder : Five songs of Walther von der Vogelweide

by Ralph Middenway (2017)

Work Overview

Walther (1170-1230) was the most famous of the Minnesinger (analogous to makars, minstrels, troubadours, trouvères and skalds).

The songs are by no means pastiche, but they are informed by some of the conventions of the time.

The music springs from the verse, its meaning, its scansion, its logical structure, both its sense and its sensibility, and its use of rhyme and Stabreim (with its use of assonance and rhythmic balance).

The performers may feel free to set their own tempi and dynamics, and make whatever musical adjustments they may find convenient within the framework of the score.

The artistic purposes of the piece are to provide the three performers with opportunities to demonstrate their versatility and musicality.

Work Details

Year: 2017

Instrumentation: Baritone voice (also playing finger cymbals and tabor), guitar, cello.

Duration: 18 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Songs are in Middle High German, pronunciation guide and translations are included.

Written for: Michael Lampard

The piece's musical 'sibling', on much the same scale and using comparable forces, is 'Mädchenlieder', for soprano, lute, viola da gamba and mediæval percussion, performed five times during a Tasmanian tour by the group Sequenza (Helen Thomson, David Malone, Brett Rutherford and Matt Goddard).

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