Continuoso Cycles and Continuum (Score in A) (Three inflections of the past) For string orchestra and harpsichord Ian Percy (2015)

Percy, Ian (2015) Continuoso Cycles and Continuum (Score in A) (Three inflections of the past) For string orchestra and harpsichord Ian Percy (2015). [Composition]

Text (Original Music Score)
Continuoso (in A) A4 Score & Preface DrIPercy.pdf

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[img] Audio (Live Recording 290216)
Continuoso (Quartet) Live 290216 St Lukes DrIPercy.mp3

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It was a delight when Gli Archi del Cherubino agreed to perform a new piece composed specifically for them at the Liverpool Hope Cornerstone Arts Festival 2015. Along with my friend and colleague (violinist-musicologist) Dr Alberto Sanna, I was involved in a collaborative recording project with the orchestra during the scorching summer of 2015 in L’Aquila, Italy and had thoroughly enjoyed the visit, their company and the musical memories I retained.

This is a three-movement work conceived within a quasi-sinfonia form (fast-slow-fast) exploring the concept of pseudo-modulation within tonal stasis. Respectful of the repertoire usually performed by the ensemble, the music was composed upon a sequence of consonant chords that expand with each statement to introduce the first six pitches of the cycle of fourths. Although the score was realised entirely in Ab, the expanding harmony within the first movement creates pseudo-modulation through the keys of F, Bb, Eb and Ab, whilst blurring the sense of ‘home tonic’ within notation devoid of accidentals.

Building chords upon the whole-tone and perfect-fourth intervals (instead of the largely triadic harmony the ensemble are used to) shaped modal and consonant phrases sympathetic to their usual repertoire, whilst producing original music that is clearly a product of the twenty-first century. The resolution to (and prominence of) the home-tone heard in the final stages of the first movement caused initial concern for the composer, but seemed appropriate within the context of the subtitle for the work: Three inflections of the past.

Once composed, the score was transposed up a semi-tone in order to take advantage of the open strings of the instruments and the increased acoustic resonance that brings from the orchestra. Writing the score in A also eliminated the need to retune the harpsichord before each performance. Scores and parts are available in both keys.

Item Type: Composition
Additional Information and Comments: All performers have agreed recordings can be used for dissemination of research and personal portfolio
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Music (up to 30th April 2018)
Depositing User: Ian Percy
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2017 10:37
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2017 09:28

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