Three Cantigas


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Orpheus Music

Composer: Thorn - Benjamin

Instrumentation: Descant - Treble - Tenor

Period/genre: Australian Contemporary

Grade: Moderate

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*Contemporary Piece.* Fun lively and rhythmic arrangements of three Cantigas de Santa Maria from the 13th century.

1. Nas mentes senpre tener
2. A Madre do que liurou
3. Quen souber Santa Maria

_Score 7 pp. Parts 3 pp._

  • Reviews
  • OMP087 Benjamin Thorn Three Cantigas

    The melodies of Benjamin Thorn's three Cantigas for recorder trio derive from the 13th century Cantigas de Santa Maria collection by Alfonso X of Castle and Leon.  Infused with energy and passion, the Cantigas would make an ideal programme opener as the melodies maintain a rhythmic impulse that is both timeless and infectious.  Highly recommended.

    Louise Phillips, The Recorder Magazine Winter 2002 Vol. 22 no. 4

    OMP075 Benjamin Thorn, Bouncing.

    OMP087 Benjamin Thorn, Three Cantigas.

    Both of these new ensemble works by Thorn are very much worth looking into. Bouncing, a three-movement (fast-slow-fast) piece for double choir is not at all difficult to execute.  Its conservative tonal language and general simplicity make it easy to conceptualise and therefore quite suitable for young players who would surely enjoy performing it.

    The more challenging Three Cantigas for recorder trio is a very exciting piece based on melodies that, according to the edition's notes, "come from the 13th century 'Cantigas de Santa Maria' collected by AIfonso X (known as the Wise) of Castile and Leon." Thorn accentuates the aura of antiquity in his accompaniments by emphasizing the open-interval sounds of perfect fourths and fifths. I personally consider these pieces to be more than mere arrangements. Thorn has created highly unorthodox contexts for these old tunes by encasing them in dense polyphonic textures.

    These pieces are not quite newly conceived compositions either. The borrowed melodies always remain the absolute central focus, and Thorn, unlike many contemporary composers, does not subject his quoted material to any kind of deconstruction (or least not in this work).  These editions are excellent, as is usually the case with Orpheus.

    Pete Rose, American Recorder, March 2004

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