Hommage à Raïmbaut de Vaqueiras
Duration 6:30 minutes
Instrumentation: flute + piccolo (1 player), tenor drum + glockenspiel + tambourin (1 player)
This short piece is a playful ode to Raïmbout de Vaquieras, one of the great mediaeval troubadours. His estampie Kalenda Maya is one of the most exciting and catchy musical pieces I know.
The composition makes references to mediaeval forms, sounds and modi without trying to be an imitation.
- The first movement is, like Raïmbauts masterpiece, an estampie: an exciting and fast dance with jumps.
- The second and third movement refer to the story that Raïmbaut improvised his estampie on the spot after a melody he had just heard from a travelling musician. Similarly the melancholy melody of the second movement (planh = lament for a fallen hero) developes itself into an estampie in the third movement and so we come full circle. Rotrouenge is an indication for a song with a refrain, i.e. in which something returns.
The piece is an excellent opener for a concert - the first movement can be played while the musicians enter the stage. It was performed this way by Philippa Davies and Simon Limbrick at the premiere on 16 May 2004. The work is also dedicated to them.