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Michael Nyman (b.1944)

Michael Nyman: MGV (Musique A Grande Vitesse)

Klassik

forSymphonic orchestra
Musical EditionsStudy score
Item no.859386
Author/ComposerMichael Nyman
Languageenglish
Scope160 pages
Publisher/ProducerChester Music
Producer No.MUSCH60952
ISBN9781783056200

Description

Michael Nyman's Musique A Grande Vitesse (MGV) translates as ‘high speed music’ and was commissioned by the Festival de Lille for the inauguration of the TGV NorthEuropeanParis-Lille line in 1993.

This piece of sheet music runs continuously, but was conceived as an abstract, imaginary journey; or rather five inter-connected journeys, each ending with a slow, mainly stepwise melodywhich isonly heard in its 'genuine' form when the piece reaches its destination.

Thematic 'transformation' is a key to MGV as a whole. Throughout the piece ideas - rhythmic, melodic, harmonic, motivic,textural -constantly change their identity as they pass through different musical 'environments'.

The opening bars establish both a recurrent rhythmic principle - 9, 11, or 13-beat rhythmic cycles heard against a regular 8- and aharmonic process - chord sequences (mainly over C and E) which have the note E in common. (Coincidentally, MGV begins in C and ends in E). A later scalic, syncopated figure (again first heard over C, E andA)begins the second section, featuring Brass, in D flat.

The topography of MGV should be experienced without reference to planning, description or timetables. Its tempo changes and unpredictable slowingsdownbear no logical relation to the high speed of the Paris-Lille journey, while the temptation to treat MGV as a concerto grosso, with the Michael Nyman band as the ripeno, was resisted: more suitablytheband (amplified in live performance) lays down the tracks on which MGV runs.

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