Ausone (version C) (1979)

Bruce Mather

two harps, two guitars, two violins, two violas, and two cellos

It is my second work in quarter tones, the first being Régime Onze, Type A (1978) for two pianos, and draws its harmonic organization from the theoretical systems of the Russian pioneer micro-tonal composer Ivan Wyschnegradsky (1893-1979). Following a suggestion of Robert Aitken, there are three versions of Ausone, one for solo flute, a second for flute and two harps tuned a quarter tone apart and the third version for flute and ten instruments. To each of the harps is added a guitar, a violin, a viola and a cello, giving two quintets tuned a quarter tone apart. The flute plays the quarter-tones by means of alternate fingerings. The title is taken from «Château Ausone», one of the greatest wines of Saint. Emilion. (Bruce Mather)

The first performance with ten instruments was given on February 2, 1980 by Robert Aitken as soloist and the New Music Concerts Ensemble under the direction of the composer. Written in Paris between August 1978 and March 1979 while the composer was Visiting Professor of Analysis at the Paris Conservatoire, Ausone was commissioned by New Music Concerts and is dedicated to Robert Aitken.