stringquintet No. 1 : on a theme by Hildegard von Bingen
by Kim Bowman (2019)
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Based on a piece written by Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) called The Fire of Creation. Her piece is set for only two voices. von Bingen is one of the oldest composers known to us.
In Stringquintet No.1 the original two voices have been expanded to five voices. The melodies in the original two voices are mainly represented by the first violin and the first viola. The second violin and second viola providing mainly a counterpoint. The fifth voice, represented by the cello, acts as the fundament and harmonic base to the ensemble.
As much of our western culture nowadays is permeated by an amalgam of influences from other cultures, so has contemporary music evolved to a myriad of movements after we have experienced decades of doctrine of intellectual 12 tone music and serialism. The latter has mainly been the cause for the audience to turn their backs to modern music because it was experienced as being cerebral and lacking warmth or passion.
Many composers nowadays have dug into the past to relive history and recycle old music. Stringquintet No.1 by Kim Bowman can can be seen in that light. A recomposed version for our time, of our time. Recycling of musical material has been a common practice throughout musical history. 'Variations on a theme' by another composer for instance. In popular music rappers do not blink an eye when 'borrowing' musical material from wherever they can get it and churn it, break it up, put it in a loop etc.
Since 2016 Kim Bowman has been writing in a much more contemplative and melodic style and this has led to an enormous productive boost, being free of the doctrine to be modern.
Instrumentation: 2 violins, 2 violas, cello.
Duration: 13 min.
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