David Fisher - Augsburg Elegy

Augsburg Elegy


Flute, Oboe, Oboe 2/Clarinet, Bassoon, Strings

Recording, download - 9.47MB

Score, download - 0.12MB

David Fisher - Augsburg Elegy

Other Information

Augsburg Elegy or A Tallis Triptych

Dedicated to Joachim Diessner von Isensee.   Commissioned for Baroque orchestra [A=415] by the Augsburg Early Music Festival for the Festkonzert zum Augsburger Hohen Friedenfest 2004 and performed in the Kirche St Anna by the Batzdorfer Hofkapelle [Konzertmeister Daniel Deuter] conducted by the composer on 8th August 2004. The revised version of Augsburg Elegy (with a clarinet replacing oboe 2) had its British première in the Fraser Noble Hall by the University of Leicester Sinfonia conducted by Michael Sackin. It was the first ever performance on modern instruments having been written for an authentic C18th orchestra. The work was repeated in this revised form in the United Reformed Church, Hinckley, on 28th March 2015.

Having been written for a German audience, Augsburg Elegy was composed as a homage to the form of the chorale prelude which became famous under Dieterich Buxtehude and J S Bach. Normally for organ, they are typically polyphonic settings in which the chorale is plainly audible and there is sometimes an obbligato line above or below the melody all of which occur in this orchestral work. It is essentially in ternary form with a slow introduction and a long coda. At the start the flute, oboe and bassoon are given different melodies and then, with the clarinet, become the protagonists in a melodic battle with the strings from the beginning of the fast section reflecting religious disharmony. This battle continues for some time with the Tallis Canon appearing in the wind and then the strings. Moments of repose are swiftly thrust aside and the return of the fast opening section is more violent than before. Gradually the instruments move into the major key and in the long coda all the instruments are in harmony but playing five different themes: the Tallis melody is now a cantus firmus in the basses and cellos, the upper strings play the agitated figure and the three melodies from the wind at the beginning are all layered before the original opening string melody returns as a canon itself but now between flute and clarinet. There is a transitory passage in the minor before order is restored in a final major key flourish.


The photographs show David Fisher in rehearsal with the Batzdorfer Hofkapelle - the one on the right in the Kirche St Anna, Augsburg. The central image is from the brochure for the whole Augsburger Hohen Friedenfest 2004.

David Fisher - Augsburg Elegy

David Fisher - Augsburg Elegy