Non Sequitur Music

Morfran

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Composer: David Heuser
Instrumentation: Bass Clarinet
Year Composed: 1987
Duration: 4 minutes
Pages : 2
Cost: Purchase: $3.00
Note: This work is in calligraphic rather than computer notation.

Representative Performances:

  • Richard Hornsby, bass clarinet, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Cananda (March 1995)
  • Julian Smerdon, bass clarinet, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN (March 1991)
  • Michael Lowenstern, bass clarinet, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY (March 1988; May 1989)


Program Notes:

Morfran, for solo bass clarinet, was written in October of 1987 for bass clarinetist Michael Lowenstern. Its companion piece is Sanddef, also for solo bass clarinet.

Morfran ("Great Crow"), son of the witch' Ceridwen and the nobleman Tegid Foel, is mentioned as a member of King Arthur's court in the medieval Welsh tale Calhwch and Olwen. He was so ugly, the teller relates, he was not attacked at the battle of Camlan because "everyone supposed he was an attending demon; he had hair on him like a stag.." He is more important in The Tale of Gwion Bach (also a medieval Welsh tale) where he is no better off: "his looks, shape and carriage were extraordinarily odious." His mother took pity (of sorts) on him and decided to use her arts to give him great knowledge and the spirit of prophecy. Alas for poor Morfran - the drops of wisdom fell on another, and Morfran was left ugly and dumb.


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