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An Idyll for the Misbegotten (Images III)
Instrumentation: Hn—3Perc
Composer:  Crumb, George
Duration: 15 mins
 
Details:  (to be heard from afar, over a lake, on a moonlit evening in August) for Horn (originally Flute) and 3 Percussionists (score only - four are needed to perform)
Contents:  "I feel that 'misbegotten' well describes the fateful and melancholy predicament of the species 'homo sapiens' at the present moment in time. Mankind has become ever more 'illegitimate' in the natural world of the plants and animals. The ancient sense of brotherhood with all life-forms (so poignantly expressed in the poetry of St. Francis of Assisi) has gradually and relentlessly eroded and consequently we find ourselves monarchs of a dying world. We share the fervent hope that humankind will embrace anew nature's 'moral imperative'. My little 'Idyll' was inspired by these thoughts. Flute and drum are, to me (perhaps by association with ancient ethhnic musics), those instruments which most powerfully evoke the voice of nature. I have suggested that ideally (if impractically) my 'Idyll' should be heard 'from afar, over a lake, on a moonlit evening in August'. 'An Idyll for the Misbegotten' evokes the haunting theme of Claude Debussy's 'Syrinx' (for solo flute, 1912). There is also a short quotation from the eighth century Chinese poet Ssu-K'ung Shu: 'The moon goes down. There are shivering birds and withering grasses.' // When Mr Robert Patterson (one of my former composition students and a virtuoso horn player) mentioned to me that he had been considering the feasibility of a Frech horn adaptation for the solo flute part of my 'Idyll for the Misbegotten' I was initially somewhat skeptical. My music, like so much contemporary music, implies such specificity in regard to timbre and idiomatic expression that the idea of transcription would seem unthinkable. And yet, after Mr Patterson had played through the horn part for me, I had to admire the sensitivity and ingenuity with which he had solved the various problems of transliteration. The horn, with its enormous evocative power, creates an effect at the same time more intense and primitive than the flute is capable of. The horn coloration does indeed invoke a 'mystical sense of nature'. Although the horn part in 'Idyll' demands a considerable degree of virtuosity, I feel this new version to be eminently practical and effective. I fully endorse this alternate form for the work and would be especially pleased if it might help to fill out the rather limited repertory of contemporary solo music for the horn." (George Crumb)
An Idyll for the Misbegotten (Images III)
EP67094A
$23.75

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