L'homme armé

by Tomi Räisänen

for alto saxophone and percussion duo

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Tomi Räisänen

L'homme armé



L’homme armé is a Burgundian melody, which was very well known and a popular tune during the 15th and 16th centuries. It was widely used as a cantus firmus in many masses, for example by Dufay, Josquin, Ockeghem and many others. I decided to continue this tradition and to use the melody in a new context. The tune is augmented so strongly that even the shortest time values of the original melody last in their new form around ten seconds. By this way the augmented melody forms a kind of a skeleton or a structural basis for the whole work. I have also studied carefully the form and the interval structure of the original l’homme armé melody and then applied these same features to this new work for saxophone and percussion.

Tomi Räisänen, 2003


asax, 2perc


Chamber Works


First performance (original version) on July 5, 2003 at the Time of Music Festival in Viitasaari, Finland by Olli-Pekka Tuomisalo & Aki Virtanen. First performance (new version) on May 5, 2010 at the ISCM World Music Days in Sydney, Australia by Michael Duke, Alison Pratt & Daryl Pratt.

Commisioned by / dedications

Dedicated to Olli-Pekka Tuomisalo

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