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Just completed a new work for string quartet and string orchestra - Licke thou the knife

 

 

 

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Interesting piece- the introduction is immediately captivating and the dense polyphony would work brilliantly in a concert hall, with your performance directions. It struck me that the 'standard' 20th century thing to do in the introduction would be to alter the first motif on each repeat in order to emphasise its non-tonal qualities. However I think the straight repetitions of the idea gives it a strongly assertive quality and is maybe more unexpected given the chromatic idiom.

Just out of interest, where is the title from?

The title is from an (the?) original lyrics of Three Blind Mice that appeared in Deuteromelia or The Seconde part of Musicks melodie (1609) edited by Thomas  Ravenscroft (who may also have been the author).

My composition, though ultimately an abstract piece, used the familiar melody of the nursery tune along with the urban myth about its origins (Queen Mary I executing the Oxford Martyrs, etc - Google it if you want to know more about that). The nursery tune appears in bits, along with snippets of English Renaissance church music, in the string quartet. The string orchestra, representing an intolerant establishment, takes apart the tune (using the first three notes in a mocking way). The straight repetitions of the opening motif are meant to represent a rigid/blinked attitude.

Ahhhh- it all becomes clear! I enjoyed the polyphonic sections presented in the solo quartet, but hadn't made the link to renaisance music. Fascinating!

Fascinating music!

This music really intrigues me!  I love the aesthetic (or is ascetic?!)

May I ask if you did this in Finale or Sibelius or the like?  I ask because it would make a good challenge for midi orchestration and string sample libs...

May I ask if you did this in Finale or Sibelius or the like?  I ask because it would make a good challenge for midi orchestration and string sample libs...

 

It was done in Sibelius, using the Vienna Symphonic Library

Great introduction, it is sharp and awing, and immediately drew me into the entire piece.

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