Die Brittlein,
sie muss uns lassen

For SATB Recorders

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music sample

History and Performance Notes

This quartet was written in July 2002 specifically for Britt Ascher, one of the East Bay Recorder Society's past presidents. Britt was extremely helpful during and after her presidency with keeping the chapter focused and moving forward, and most importantly she was critical to the financial health of the chapter by organizing and running our workshops. Britt helped me tremendously during my presidency, especially the first year when I didn't know anything about the history and traditions of the chapter and its membership. I wanted to honor her at our annual picnic so I wrote this music for her and organized a quartet to perform it.

Temporarily relocated to Washington, D.C. where she regularly plays with The Monday Night Recorder Group (and tells me they love my work), Britt continued to run our chapter workshop until the just recently, and divides her time between coasts.

What's with the title?

The title is actually a hybrid of the titles of two well-known Renaissance tunes: "Die Brünnlein, die da fliessen" and "Innsbruch, Ich muss dich lassen". Even though it's not grammatically correct Middle High German, I thought it was only natural to use Die Brittlein because I figured any renaissance folks would recognize the allusion. I knew Britt enjoys playing Renaissance music so I wanted to create something with a Renaissance-style feel to it.

Performance notes

Get ready for some tricky off-beat Renaissance-y rhythms and don't tense up and resist or you'll fall behind! The music starts out with a chant that introduces the main melody. Then the recorders begin a fantasia on the theme, starting slowly at first but then picking up speed (rhythmically, not tempo). There are two meter changes, from 4/2 to 3/2 and later back to 4/2. The half-note should not change, nor should there be any pause between them. The final chord shows a low D in the bass-- this note is provided in case there is a C-bass in the group. The highest note is C, so the C-bass player will have a challenge there, but if you can get that low D, the final chord is heavenly!

performing group

Britt Ascher and I pose with the autographed copy prepared just for her.

performing group

(l.-r.) Kathy Cochran, Mary Ellen Reed, *moi* and professional recorderist extraordinaire Judith Linsenberg of Musica Pacifica (we're not worthy!) play the new piece for Britt, who looks on from behind so she can see the music.

 

 

 Die Brittlein, sie muss uns lassen

Performed at the Berkeley Early Music Festival, June 2008

Players:
Mark McMahon, Kathy Cochran, Greta Hryciw, Alan Paul, Glen Shannon

Singer:
Jennifer Torresen, Soprano voice