Griebling-Haigh: The Windrush Madrigals for Oboe, Clarinet, and Piano
Code: JP5035 ISMN: 979-0-3019-0451-0
In June of 2000 the composer, Margi Griebling-Haigh,
traveled through parts of England. Afterwards she had
the idea to write an impressionistic chamber piece which
would combine a sort of instrumental adaptation of the
madrigal while also capturing images from this trip.
The Windrush River is a small, rippling, and pristine
stream, which twists its way through the villages of the
Cotswalds. It seemed to the composer to be a joyful and
innocent little river. The first movement, "The Queen
Was Seen Bedeck'd in Green", is based on the merest
fragment of that beloved madrigal by Thomas Morley,
"Now is the Month of Maying", but in a spritely 5/8
meter. The composer tried to portray a certain
nostalgia for Elizabethan England but with a
considerably larger range of drama than would have been
found in any single madrigal of that time.
"Swans and Willows", marked Andante molto tranquillo e
legato, follows. This movement is based on the memory of
the swans in the moat around Wells Cathedral in Somerset
on a warm, sunny afternoon. These are the famous
"bell-ringing swans" which, according to tradition, have
been taught to pull a cord attached to a bell when they
wish to be fed. The piece is overall lazy and full of
gently rippling water and dangling willow branches but
also depicts the commotion of the take offs and landings
of large waterfowl.
The thematic material of the third movement harkens back
to old rounds and catches. "Sir William" in this case is
a river otter whose only mission in life is to have as
much fun as possible. The combination of oboe and
clarinet is ideal for representing the splashing of paws
and the sliding down riverbanks, while the piano
provides the sparkling of sunlight on water and the
clarity of the air.
Scored for oboe, clarinet and piano. Duration:
approximately 18.5 minutes.
Additional page samples:
Adobe Reader software or similar PDF viewer is needed to view samples.
Click here for PDF samples