Motet Without Words

Motet Without Words


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Motet Without Words

SKU: FM1123 Category:


The idea of a purely clarinet ensemble was an inspiration to write a cappella in twelve real parts. Mendelssohn’s concept of a Song Without Words is here translated into Renaissance terms and the piece is an homage to the great William Byrd. The guiding concept, as in my Concerto Piccolo is to take the “Neo-Tonal” triad (G-Bb-C) and ask the intriguing question: what would Renaissance music have sounded like if the great polyphonists had adopted this triad rather than the common C-E-G triad? Byrd wrote some pretty long Motets by the standard of his day, such as the awesome eight-minute Infelix Ego. Motet Without Words therefore concentrates on horizontal lines, imitation and phrasing in preference to vertical harmonies, although where necessary the primary voice is indicated. Thus players must imagine they are Early Music singers for a day. As for me, I couldn’t resist a cheeky quotation from the Agnus Dei of Byrd’s Mass for Four Voices, just before the piece reaches its end!

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