Illuminations on a Christmas Plainsong (Divinum Mysterium) in a setting for flute choir by Nancy Nourse
Scored for 4 Bass Flutes, Contrabass Flute and optional Contr'alto Flute
The original setting of this piece for a “low flutes” ensemble explores the rich, dark colours of multiple bass flutes combined with a contrabass flute and an optional but independent contr'alto flute. If a contr'alto flute in G is not available, a second contrabass flute part (provided) can be substituted. If a second contrabass flute is not available, then there are cues inserted in the other parts which cover any lines essential to the successful performance of this work. Alternatively, this entire setting may be performed one octave higher by playing all the bass flute parts on the standard concert C flutes, playing the contr'alto flute in G part on the alto flute and the contrabass flute part on the regular bass flute. This octave higher version might be considered a “nuns' chorus version” in contrast to the original “monks'.”)
Optionally, this setting can be played 8va by an ensemble of: C Flute 1, C FLute 2, C Flute 3, C Flute 4, Alto Flute (optional), Bass Flute (with NO Contrabass Flute). However, this combination must never be used in combination with the original instrumentation as listed in the score.