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Thea Musgrave

Publisher: Novello & Co

Orfeo I (1975)
commissioned by the BBC Transcription Service for James Galway
Publisher
Novello & Co Ltd
Category
Solo Works (excluding keyboard)
Year Composed
1975
Duration
14 Minutes
Orchestration
Availability


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Programme Note
Thea Musgrave Orfeo I (1975)
This work was originally commissioned by the BBC for James Galway, as a work for solo flute and tape (Orfeo 1): All the music on the tape would be an electronically treated recording of James Galway playing a variety of different flutes. It was first performed by him in this version in 1976.

This work is intended as a simple retelling of the famous legend. The flute represents Orfeo; all the other elements and characters in the story are represented by the music for the strings. Orfeo's journey to the underworld exists only in his imagination. To heighten the effect of this separation of reality and imagination, much of the music of Euridice, the Furies, the Shades, is suggested by "memory elements" that is, quotations from the Orfeo of Gluck. They are woven into the fabric of the music. The whole work is thus focussed on Orfeo; on his mourning for Euridice and his vain attempts to recover her. In the end he has to resign himself to her loss.


Score sample


  • Soloist(s)
    Patricia Spencer, flute / James Galway, flute, pre-recorded tape
    Neuma:
Performances
Date
Title
  • 14 FEB 2014
    Carole Nash Recital Room, RNCM, Manchester
    Helen Wilson (flute)
  • 24 JAN 2011
    RNCM Concert Hall, Manchester
    Royal Northern College of Music
  • 01 SEP 2001
    Lenox, Massachusetts
    Christina Jennings, flute

    Other Dates:
    26,28 September - Lenox, Massachusetts

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