Sir Walter Raleigh duo (medium voice with cello)
by Gerald Glynn (1978)
This work is a setting of Raleigh's poem "A Description of Love", for medium voice or counter-tenor with cello accompaniment. The poem, dating from 1593, consists of five six-line stanzas, each beginning with "What is love? I pray thee say". The treatment of the text is relatively simple, but the writing for cello is much freer, even rhapsodic, and is inspired by the sarangi, the cello-like instrument of the North Indian tradition. The mood of the work is reflective, even elegaic, perhaps echoing the fact that for the poet, love was not just a happy frolic; he was imprisoned in the Tower of London for twelve years, long enough to write his History of the World, before being beheaded in 1618.
Instrumentation: Medium voice or counter-tenor, cello.
Duration: 13 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Very demanding cello part.
Dedication note: Dedicated to Hartley Newnham
Written for: Hartley Newnham
Performances of this work
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