for soprano, flute (or violin), viola and cello

Brian Inglis

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for soprano, flute (or violin), viola and cello

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Composer Brian Inglis
Year of Composition 1992
Duration ca.8'

Student Difficulty int-adv
Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-bi1r1


Twelfth-century abbess, mystic visionary, poet/composer and healer (and, since 2012, saint) Hildegard of Bingen provided inspiration for a whole sequence of my works in the 1990s. This text is cast in the liturgical form responsorium. The content explores the quality Hildegard sees in virgins, viriditas (literally ‘greenness’) which can be interpreted as a vital life force—the green life of the opening. Hildegard sees virgins as close to God, earthly avatars of heavenly beauty. Hence the chaste intensity of the language, which I have attempted to match in my vocal setting and instrumental writing; a modern gloss on Hildegard’s medievalism. The musical form is my translation of a medieval rondeau. The version of the piece for soprano and string trio was composed between 24 December 1991 and 1 April 1992 in Reading and Durham; the version with flute (also alto flute) was completed in Reading in September 1992.

Excerpt from live recording (Sharon Cooper & Ensemble Alternance/Denis Cohen, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 1992).