Plainsong for strings : string orchestra
by Jennifer Fowler (1992)
Score SampleView a sample of the score of this work
From the CD Plainsong for strings: revised version 2000
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Plainsong for Strings is an adaption of an earlier piece for chamber choir, based on the plainsong Veni Creator Spiritus. It explores a process of built-in resonance.
Canons have always been an echoing device, but in this piece the canonic voices proceed at fluctuating speeds, so that the time relationship between voices is constantly shifting. The simple and recognisable line of plainsong in the meantime becomes more complex. Throughout, a single line is used, but decorated and smudged outwards in such a way that the resulting sound can be directionalised and shaped.
At a time when contemporary music was dividing into the two camps of the very simple and very complex, in writing this piece I was looking for ways to be able to journey from simple to complex and back again without losing stylistic integrity.
Instrumentation: String orchestra (18.104.22.168.1).
Duration: 11 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Professional or advanced students.
Commission note: Commissioned by Goldberg Ensemble.. Revised version commissioned by the Goldberg Ensemble.
Performances of this work
20 Apr 08: Beijing International Congress on Women in Music, Forbidden City Concert Hall, Beijing, China. Featuring Youqing Yang.
31 Mar 01: Wolverhampton, UK. Featuring Goldberg Ensemble.
5 Feb 95: School in Croyden, Surrey, UK. Featuring Surrey Sinfonietta.
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