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Je ne puis me tenir d'aymer

Je ne puis me tenir d'aymer

(Code: A110410062)

Composition by Alastair Matthews for four mixed voices SATB and piano. Laureat of the composition contest launched by À Cœur Joie Hauts-de-France, 2nd prize category C.
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Je ne puis me tenir d’aymer, composition by Alastair Matthews for four mixed voices SATB and piano :



Laureat of the composition contest launched by À Cœur Joie Hauts-de-France, 2nd prize category C.

This work, which sets to music the poem ‘Je ne me puis tenir d’aymer’ is conceived as a homage to Josquin Des Prés; its principle theme is constructed from that of the great master for his setting of the same poem.
The theme used in the piece has been adapted to a more contemporary musical language which remains nonetheless manageable for the amateur choir. The work thus presents an exploration of other compositional possibilities of this theme, using expressive and developmental tools that are somewhat removed from Josquin’s own musical world. The alternation between E and E flat is a central but subtle compositional device which directs the harmonic and melodic evolution of the piece. On one level this device is evocative of the music of the renaissance, as the alternation between the E flat and E natural tone essentially creates an alternation between the phyrigian and aeolian scales, which form part of the modal system. However, the tension between these two modes is exploited to create semitonal collisions and rapid modal alternations which gives the harmonic material a much more contemporary flavour.
Another notable feature is that Josquin’s original theme is directly quoted in the composition. This has been indicated in the score.

Informations about the composer of this work four mixed voices SATB and piano :



Alastair is a British composer, born in Newcastle upon Tyne on 22nd November 1995. Alastair’s musical education began in earnest when he started piano lessons at age 9. While through most of his youth Alastair aimed to develop principally as a pianist, he always had a fascination with the idea of writing his own music. From a young age he experimented with stylistic composition, attempting to assimilate the musical language of the classical era in particular, for which he has always had a great affinity. Alastair then gained a place to study Music at the University of Oxford where he studied composition with Martyn Harry and Robert Saxton. There he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Music and a master’s degree in composition with distinction.
Since then his music has been played across Europe. He studied with Eleanor Alberga in the advanced composition course at the Dartington international summer school where he won performances of his work from the Heath Quartet and Tritium Trio. In 2021 the Romanian choir Vox Medicalis will release a recording of his work Les Roses de Saadi which sets Marceline Desbordes Valmore’s poem, following the premier given in a joint performance between Vox Medicalis and the Atelier Chorale de Valenciennes during the latter’s tour of Romania.
In 2021 Alastair will begin a master’s degree in piano performance at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

Notation for the piano score to download here.

Performing time: 5 minutes