Madrigali Spirituali (Fine, Vivian)
Stephen Burns, trumpet; Ida Kavafian and Pamela Frank, violins;
Toby Appel, viola; Warren Lash, cello
Vivian Fine Estate
Recorded live in 1989 at Angel Fire, New Mexico
Scores and Parts
Vivian Fine Estate
|Work Title||Madrigali Spirituali|
|Movements/Sections||6 sections - see Misc. Comments for description|
|Year/Date of Composition||1989|
|First Performance||1989-08-27 at Angel Fire, New Mexico.
|Average Duration||14 minutes|
|Instrumentation||trumpet and string quartet|
Commissioned by Music From Angel Fire Festival
The first section, marked Lento (there are six sections), is a series of arched antecedent and consequent phrases occurring between the trumpet and cello and later the first violin. Each acts as a solo vocalist…creating the impression of spatial antiphonal voices. The movement is short, with the string quartet providing several cadences of a unison G or major third of E-flat-G. Such attention to consonance is becoming more prominent in [Fine’s] later works. The second section continues the slowly moving unison and consonant texture using the ensemble with muted trumpet… Fragments from the beginning are heard, sometimes rearranged and recombined in a meditativelike setting. The third section introduces… techniques from previous compositions, such as string harmonics from Missa Brevis, trumpet half-valving to produce quarter tones heard in the Quartet for Brass, and a texture of rapid dynamic envelope changes also from the Quartet and Missa Brevis… The next section recalls another favored texture, a canon between the two violins… The fifth section, an allegro, is a rescoring of material from Asphodel with the trumpet having the soprano line. The ending is a return to the beginning section. Fine’s Madrigali Spirituali is a scrapbook of favorite ideas or voices from her past works that summarizes some of her deepest feelings.
- —Heidi Von Gunden, The Music of Vivian Fine, Scarecrow Press, 1999
Madrigali Spirituali…had everything. Everything you could ask for from a 12 minute quintet for trumpet and strings, at any rate: simplicity, approachability, depth, power. And beauty. Despite a diffused, slightly austere harmonic language that was virtually atonal, the new work by festival composer-in-residence Vivian Fine breathed fresh melodic air in Sunday’s world premiere performance. It combined the transparency and spiritual uplift of Renaissance polyphony with the plain sentiment of Anglo-American folk melody and the complex psychological probing of musical modernism.
Fine’s piece was a hit with the near-capacity audience….Fine poured 66 years of composing experience into the six short movements to blend its strongly contrasting elements with brilliant, paradoxical deftness. Trumpeter Steven Burns and a string quartet led by violinist Ida Kavafian played Fine’s fluently complex music to a turn.
- —David Noble, Albuquerque Journal, August 29, 1989