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Linear Lines: Five soliloquies based on the chant In Principio Omnes by Hildegard of Bingen.

Linear Lines: Five soliloquies based on the chant In Principio Omnes by Hildegard of Bingen for solo horn by Liz Lane. Available from the composer, lizlane.co.uk. 2009.

This new work was commissioned from the composer by hornist Marlene Ford, who sent the work on behalf of the composer for review. As reflected in the title, the work is based on a chant by the medieval abbess, composer, writer, and philosopher, found in her liturgical drama/morality play Ordo Virtutum. The chant chosen comes at the end of the drama as the moral to the story, encouraging all who hear it to embrace a virtuous life, repent their sins, and honor God, the Father.

British composer Liz Lane describes Linear Lines as an exploration of "a relationship between the musical language of Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) ... and the present day. The complete chant ... is used as the basis of the piece which is split into five sections, each a progressive soliloquy on the original musical material." Hildegard's original melody is quoted and then embellished with grace notes, glissandi, stopped notes, and other added figures, as the means by which the composer bridged the past and present. Hildegard's text is also presented in strategic places in the soliloquies for reference in understanding the desired mood or inspiration; these could also be read at those points, if deemed appropriate.

The result is a very provocative and meaningful piece lasting about five minutes. The musical and technical challenges are manageable at the college level and above, with a range of B to b", some large intervals, and flexibility between all ranges required. Learning more about the original work would also be very useful in preparing this piece for performance. Congratulations to both Lane and Ford for their work and inspiration! JS

Recently received from Editions BIM, CH-1674 Vuarmarens, Switzerland; editions-bim.com.

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Author:Snedeker, Jeffrey
Publication:The Horn Call
Article Type:Sound recording review
Date:Feb 1, 2011
Words:309
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