25 April 2015

soprano and harpsichord
Text: Jaufre Rudel
f.p. Juliet Fraser (soprano), James Weeks (harpsichord), Winchester, June 2002
Amor de lonh, written in 2002, reconstructs two troubadour vers by Jaufre Rudel according to some of my then compositional preoccupations. Both of Jaufre’s melodies receive a highly ornamented treatment, and both use changes of mode to bring about a change of mood, as well as chromatic inflections to decorate the florid lines. In the second poem the chromaticism becomes more pervasive as the mood grows darker. The rhythms are very loose and improvisatory in the first and very detailed and rigid in the second. In the first song the accompanying harpsichord plays melismatic lines in alternatim or heterophonic unison with the voice (nearly doubling, but not quite), and in the second it adds two alternating drone notes to its chromatic lines, punctuating the voice’s fragmentary phrases.