Soprano (who preferably also plays claves and tambourine, though a separate percussionist may be used), Clarinet, and Violoncello
Text: From Carmina Burana (Latin)
Duration: ca. 10 minutes
Publisher: C. F. Peters Corporation, Edition Peters 67529
Ave Formosissima, for soprano, clarinet and cello, was composed in 1985 for Christine Schadeberg’s New York City recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, sponsored by Musicians’ Accord. It was extensively revised in 1987, and this version of the work was first heard in Madrid in May of that year, during a two-week tour of Spain by Musicians’ Accord. It is dedicated to its first performers and to my first teacher, Don Freund. The texts, in medieval Latin, are from Carmina Burana, and deal with love, springtime and their attendant sensual delights. After the opening fanfare-like salutation to Venus, the music ranges from the exuberant to the mysterious, from the buoyant to the boisterous, from the rhythmic, melodic and harmonic devices of the Middle Ages to the free-floating “pulseless” quality and concern with timbre of much late 20th-century music. The work culminates in a celebratory jig-like dance in which most of the previous music is recalled.