Le Temps Viendra-OB(EH)/CL(BCL)/PN
Composer: McDowell, Cecilia
Publisher: Hofmeister (Germany)
Le Temps Viendra (1998)
for oboe (double English horn), clarinet (doubles bass clarinet), and piano
by Cecilia McDowall (b. 1951)- British composer
In the autumn of 1997, a rare illuminated manuscript came up for sale at one of the London auction houses. It was the Book of the Hours which had once belonged to Henry VIII's ill-fated second wife, Anne Boleyn. It was discovered that she had made a significant entry on the page of the Day of Judgement. In her neat handwriting were the ominous words, 'le temps viendra' (the time will come). Written for oboe, clarinet, and piano, Le Temps Viendra contemplates Anne Boleyn's premonition of her own death. In the piano accompaniment, the tolling of 13 bells give structure to the piece and the oboe and clarinet's dark-hued cousins, the English horn and bass clarinet underpin the appearance of the song. The solo instruments fragment the tune in a hocketing style; this was a medieval practice of sharing a single melody between two voices, giving strong rhythmic impulse.
The oboe line doubles on English horn, and the clarinet doubles bass clarinet.