La douleur exquise

for nine players

Emma-Ruth Richards

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for nine players

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Composer Emma-Ruth Richards
Year of Composition 2015
Duration ca.9'
Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-err1lde1


In celebration of Mons 2015, European Capital of Culture, this piece for chamber ensemble of nine players honours composer Roland de Lassus, the audacious and perhaps best-known polyphonic composer of the Renaissance, particularly renowned for mixing sacred and profane music with insight and virtuosity. Whilst La douleur exquise does not cite his music directly the choral-esque instrumental passages have been inspired by Roland de Lassus’ 6-voice motet Musica, Dei donum optimi (drawn from the Cantiones sacrae sex vocum – Graz, Widmanstad, 1594).

The above definition of la douleur exquise has been a controlling spirit in the architecture of the piece and in my treatment of the angular material that repeatedly disrupts the essence of Lassus’ Motet. La douleur exquise is dedicated to M.