Commissioned by the East Neuk Festival for the Orlando Consort and premiered on 4 July, 2008 at St Monans Kirk, Fife, Scotland as part
of the 2008 Festival.
The St Andrews Responsories was commissioned by the East Neuk Festival for the Orlando Consort and premiered on 4 July, 2008 at St Monans Kirk, Fife, Scotland as part of the 2008 Festival.
Of the four most important extant sources (W1, W2, F, Ma) from which we can
extrapolate the contents of the Magnus liber organi de graduali et antiphonario pro servitio
divino, the compendium of 12th and 13th century music from Paris, W1 is the oldest.
Although much debate continues as to the provenance of the source, it is certain that it had arrived, from Paris, in the cathedral priory of St Andrews by the start of the 14th century.
Almost all of the musical material in W1 is also found in its counterpart sources, meaning
that W1 was most likely a collation of existing Parisian music, rather than a transcription of
new material from the local rite in St Andrews.
However, W1 contains two organa, Responsories for the Feast of St Andrew, that are not
found in the other three sources: Vir perfecte and Vir iste. They are appended by the
compiler of W1 to the central Parisian repertoire, presumably, to supplement the cycle by
providing material for a major feast of local importance hitherto inadequately represented.
Although based loosely on chant melodies in use at the time in York and Sarum, these
Responsories are not only melodically embellished in W1, but they are deemed to be of
sufficient importance to have been provided with a duplum; i.e. they are set polyphonically
and turned into a new 'composition'. The addition/creation of these two Responsories,
therefore, probably represents the only locally-generated music in W1 and are, thus, of
My work, The St Andrews Responsories, is a meditation on these two two-part organa.
Taking my cue from the compiler of W1, I have expanded the original material into a four part setting for The Orlando Consort. I have also taken fragmentary ideas from the organa
and have crafted from them a foundation for my own rhythmic and melodic mbellishment.
In some small way I feel like the compiler of W1, gently tweaking and manipulating his
existing source until something quite new is created for a very specific location and
New York, June 2008