Home / Compositions / Marian Tropes

Marian Tropes

9/5/2010 - 9/25/2010
Brentano String Quartet

MARIAN TROPES - There are no surviving unfinished works from the fifteenth century, as there are no scores, only part-books. By the time a composition of this period is copied or printed into a set of parts the original score (if there ever was one) has been discarded; and clearly no one bothered to produce a part-book for an unfinished work. What we do have by way of fragments, however, are orphan movements intended for larger structures, most often fragmenta missarum, parts of the Mass Ordinary. Here I have interwoven two such, a Gloria of Josquin and a Kyrie of Dufay. The Josquin contains interpolated passages with texts dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and these Marian Tropes I have decorated with glissandi, which subsequently spread into other parts of the composition. Much else is added to and changed from the sources, and I have not hesitated to emulate the indifference of the period to the casual interpenetration of sacred and secular.