Sheet Music: Score
Mrs Hargreaves remembers / music: Martin Wesley-Smith ; words: Lewis Carroll, Martin Wesley-Smith, Peter Wesley-Smith.
by Martin Wesley-Smith (1997)
In 1932, 79-year-old Mrs Reginald Hargreaves travelled to America
from her native England to receive an honorary doctorate from
Columbia University in New York. It was the centenary of Lewis
Carroll's birth, and Mrs Hargreaves, before marriage to crack
county cricketer Reggie, had been Alice Liddell, the real-life
inspiration for Lewis Carroll's best-known nonsense classics
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the
Looking-Glass - and What Alice Found There. The doctorate
was in recognition of her role in the creation of those
masterpieces of English literature.
This piece depicts (quite fancifully) Mrs Hargreaves, the night before the degree is to be conferred, having a massage while rehearsing her acceptance speech. She soon wanders from what she had prepared and reminisces, with great fondness, about her childhood friend the Rev'rend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll's real self). Her main focus is his depiction of himself as the White Knight in Through the Looking-Glass.
Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 facsimile score (11p. -- A4 (portrait))
Duration: 10 mins
The composer states this work is:
tonal, melodic, very singable
This work also exists as the following versions:
- Soprano with chamber ensemble
- Browse other works for Soprano with piano
- Browse other works by Martin Wesley-Smith
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'Mrs Hargreaves Remembers' for voice and piano - review
Posted by Cathy Aggett  on 20 May, 2011
“Mrs Hargreaves Remembers” by Martin Wesley-Smith, with words by Lewis Carroll, Martin Wesley-Smith and Peter Wesley-Smith, is a song with changes in metre, tempo and style (including ‘swing’). The delivery of text in this song – always central in a Wesley-Smith song – increases the degree of difficulty of the song. The quirky idea of having Mrs Hargreaves /Alice Liddell - aka Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’ sing (fancifully) about having a degree conferred on her whilst having a massage – wow! The Wesley-Smith boys have definitely asked a lot of a soprano! Will you sing it in a towel? Dare you!
Thank you for answering my plea, Martin, to place this score on the AMC’s website. It is a welcome addition to the vocal literature for voice and piano. The range of the song is from A3-G#5. A short appearance in the song of ‘For more than sixty years’ from Boojum is timely as the success of the revival of Boojum was accepted with such acclaim in Chicago so recently.