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
Interestingly, the work that tried to please the least was the most compelling. Hayes Biggs’ Ave Formosissima, a secular motet for soprano, clarinet and cello, harkens back to the dance-mad, melismatic and slightly raucous music of the Middle Ages. But the score, with its zig-zagging lines and pungent dissonances, is genuinely contemporary.
Mr. Biggs came to grips with the practice and manners of medieval music without literally quoting anything, rather offering a present-day view of the subject that was, by turns, exuberant and reflective, and remarkably persuasive.