Ingressa : large chamber ensemble
by Elliott Gyger (2009)
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Library shelf no. Q 785.3219/GYG 1 [Available for loan]
Ingressa is based on the Beneventan chant Maria vidit angelum, an "ingressa" or entrance hymn for Easter Sunday. Beneventan melodies (from the southern Italian town of Benevento) are sometimes fantastically ornate, constructed through the repetition and variation of short melodic cells. As with all Medieval chant, the notation gives little if any indication of durations or tempo, but the cells themselves are full of gestural and implicit rhythmic energy, and it is this energy as much as the beauty of the melodic contour which provides the inspiration for the piece.
The work is scored for an ensemble of fourteen players, comprising quintets of winds and strings; piano; harp; and two percussionists who play a particularly prominent role throughout. The overall structural plan reflects the title in being a drama of entrances. Instruments enter singly or in groups with transformations of the chant material, beginning with the contours of the first verse on unpitched percussion and building to a verbatim statement of the final Alleluia, split between string quartet and solo horn, amid the clangour of bells.
Ingressa is dedicated to Professor Thomas Kelly, one of the world's leading Beneventan chant scholars and my former colleague at Harvard.
Instrumentation: Piccolo, oboe, bass clarinet, contrabassoon, horn, 2 percussion, piano/celesta, harp, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass.
Duration: 8 min.
Dedication note: Dedicated to Tom Kelly
First performance: by Elliott Gyger — 11 Jan 10. National Music Camp, Llewellyn Hall, Australian National University, Canberra
Performances of this work
11 Jan 10: National Music Camp, Llewellyn Hall, Australian National University, Canberra . Featuring Elliott Gyger.
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