Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Searching for a melody

Returning to the subject of an earlier post, Jonathan Harvey has the rare knack of using electronics to create some very special music. 

A further piece to prove the point is his Ricercare una Melodia of 1984. The piece is for electronics and solo oboe. The oboe line is manipulated electronically and initially seems to be engaging in imitative exchanges with a large ensemble of other oboes. In these early stages the music seems be be searching for a melody, trying out possibilities. Eventually the piece's true melody is hit upon and the ricercare beings - here a five-part canon. The canon slows, however, on each entry and from it emerges a low bell-like sound over which the soloist continues to extend his melody. 

It's a fascinating, attractive piece, don't you think?

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