Ave, generosa

for small ensemble

Brian Inglis

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for small ensemble

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Composer Brian Inglis
Year of Composition 1996
Duration ca.8'


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Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-bi1ag1


Several fragments of Hildegard von Bingen, including that referred to in the title (‘Hail, noble girl’), a lyric in praise of the Virgin Mary, are incorporated into this work. Another source is an acrostic mentioned in the Vita Sanctoe Hildegardis; a mysterious pattern of letters in the form of a cross, discovered by a young priest on his altar-cloth, and explicated by Hildegard. A pastoral opening introduces a quasi-passacaglia using a pattern of pitches derived from the acrostic. After a central climax incorporating a musical phrase from Hildegard’s own chant setting of the lyric, a second passacaglia reaches its apotheosis in another Hildegard melody, this celebrating the Incarnation: ‘Thus your womb held joy.’

First Performance: 15 September 1996, Performance Area, City University London.