Wordless vocal lines

  • 2rec.vadg.hpd
  • 2 Countertenors
  • 5 min

Programme Note

Peter Dickinson wrote two works specially for David Munrow to perform and worked closely with him. Translations, for recorder, viola da gamba and harpsichord, dates from 1971, and Recorder Music, a virtuoso solo piece, from 1973. Munrow gave many performances of both pieces, and Recorder Music was included in The Art of the Recorder (EMI Records). A Memory of David Munrow was written for a BBC concert in Manchester at which Munrow was due to play, but he died tragically several months earlier. Thus the music is not a celebration of what he stood for, which might be appropriate now, but an elegy under the impact of shock.

The separate parts of A Memory are completely notated but they interact flexibly, cueing each other in and out. The two counter-tenors have a wordless lament, staggering their breathing. The separate independent layers of the work are examples on a small scale of the approach found in Dickinson's Piano Concerto (Proms 1986), written for Howard Shelley, and other pieces since the early 1970s.