Sir Harrison Birtwistle: ... agm ...

Sir Harrison Birtwistle ... agm ...
... agm ...

Sir Harrison Birtwistle: ... agm ...

Year of composition:
1978-1979
Scored for:
for 16 voices and 3 instrumental ensembles
Composer:
Sir Harrison Birtwistle
Text author:
Sappho
Translator:
Tony Harrison
Choir:
4 S, 4 A, 4 T, 4 B
Instrumentation:
2 2 2 2 - 1 2 2 1 - perc(3), hp(2), pno, Str(2 0 1 2 1)
Instrumentation details:
high group: 1st flute (+picc)
2nd flute (+picc)
1st oboe
2nd oboe
clarinet in Bb
horn in F
1st trumpet in C
2nd trumpet in C
1st violin
2nd violin
viola
low group: bass clarinet in Bb
bassoon
contrabassoon
1st trombone
2nd trombone
tuba
1st violoncello
2nd violoncello
contrabass
punctuationg group: piano
1st harp
2nd harp
percussion (3 players): 3 xylophones, 2 vibraphones, claves, high-pitched woodblock, 3x4 temple blocks, 3 hi-hats, 3.2 cowbells, 3x3 suspended cymbals
Commission:
Commissioned by Ensemble InterContemporain
Duration:
30’
Dedication:
Dedicated to Nicholas Snowman
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Audiosamples

... agm ...
00:00

The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

Work introduction

Following two earlier works, Harrison Birtwistle returned to texts by Sappho, the great poetess of Lesbos, this time setting the texts in their original, and much more fragmentary, form. The title …agm… has various justifications: the three letters occur in many, if not all, of Sappho’s works; the Greek word for fragment is ‘agma’; and agm is an abbreviation of Agamemnon.

Special prints

... agm ...

Sir Harrison Birtwistle: ... agm ...

study score
for 16 voices and 3 instrumental ensembles , 30’
Instr.: 2 2 2 2 - 1 2 2 1 - perc(3), hp(2), pno, Str(2 0 1 2 1)

World première

Location:
Paris
Date:
09.04.1979
Orchestra:
Ensemble Intercontemporain
Conductor:
Pierre Boulez

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