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Mnemosyne for solo bass flute and pre-recorded tape


Our Description

DAT tape available for hire only

Version for 9 bass flutes available - score for hire only.

Mnemosyne forms the seventh and final stage in Ferneyhough’s Carceri d’invenzione cycle, and was¾¾with the Intermedio alla ciaccona for solo violin that occupies third place¾¾completed almost at the last moment. Both works are dated “Freiburg, September 1986”, which was the month before the first complete performance of the cycle, at the Donaueschingen Musiktage, when Roberto Fabricciani was the flautist; neither piece was played before that occasion. Like the Intermedio and Carceri d’invenzione III, Mnemosyne was commissioned by South West German Radio. Mnemosyne is, in Greek mythology, the goddess of memory and mother of the muses. What this Mnemosyne remembers is the underlying substance of a previous hour and a quarter of music, constituted by the other parts of the Carceri sequence. According to the composer, “the chordal patterns varied in the preceding six pieces are again spread out an omnipresent background which serves to bring into play or extend earlier ’harmonic spaces’, and also to make available a discreet but constantly present series of focal notes around which the soloist weaves a limited number of intervallic chains, themselves derived from the eight initial chords and having strong internal relationships. The richer the sonority of this background¾¾it increases from four to eight parts¾¾the greater the scope for flexibility in the melodic variations. However, since in the final section of the composition the number of derived intervals is greatly reduced, the sonic gestures of the bass flute are increasingly ’hemmed in’, ’imprisoned’, until finally the process inevitably leads to a fade-out.” The slow weave of chords on tape was composed first, but since this material is played also on bass flutes, and since it arrives only after the live instrument has summoned it, the bass flute we see seems to be exploring, to the limits, a prison of its own making, a prison of mirrors. “It’s a sort of cathedralunder-the-sea sound,” Ferneyhough has also said, “rather like the Debussy prelude, in which everything

Difficulty guide: 9
Difficulty level, roughly compared to ABRSM exam grades. 0 is beginner, 9 is advanced (beyond grade 8).

Item Details


  • Part 1: Bass Flute
  • Part 2: Electronics
Category: Bass Flute Music
Publisher: Edition Peters
Publisher's reference: EP7347
Our Stock Code: 985215
Media Type: Paperback