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pipe carol

December 22, 2011

Not the Shepherd’s Pipe Carol, but a request from recorder-player Robert de Bree for a solo piece, for two recorders (played at the same time).  It’s for a Christmas concert Robert is giving with a Dutch choir in a historic church – so he’s asked if I can base the piece on the Christmas plainchant Puer Natus, in some way.   Robert, who plays various kinds of recorder and oboe, all instruments known for their ability to play just one note at a time, is a frustrated contrapuntalist, who was overjoyed to discover a kind of Sicilian folk music where two pipes are played by the same player, not just as a drone, but playing independent lines.  He has learned to play the folk music, but wants to broaden the repertoire.

In my piece the plainchant becomes a kind of pied-piper spell, or rather two kinds, as the soprano and tenor recorders make their way through the melody in very different styles.  From time to time they join in a duet…

The concert is in the Oude Pelgrimvaderskerk, Rotterdam on 22 December.

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