O Venezia (quartets: 2 sopranos, 2 mezzo-sopranos with harp)
by Graham Hair (2004)
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performed by Halcyon
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Library shelf no. CD 2489 [Not for loan]
O Venezia is a multi-movement 'song-cycle-in-progress', composed for the ensembles Pandora's Vox in Boston, Halcyon in Sydney and Scottish Voices in Glasgow (creation and realisation funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board of the UK).
The title comes from the celebrated account in Wagner's diary of a sleepless night on a Venetian balcony, in which the composer of The Ring was deeply affected by the sounds of the lagoon and the song O Venezia of the gondolieri. The anthology of texts consists of material by Venetians or (more frequently) visitors to Venice, material about Venice or excerpted from musical works composed for performance in Venice, or material connected with Venice in some other way. The dates of the texts range from the medieval ('Ave maris stella') to the late twentieth century (Luigi Nono), and include material in Latin, French, German and English as well as Italian.
Instrumentation: 2 sopranos, 2 mezzo-sopranos, harp.
Duration: 14 min.
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My favourite Australian art song repertoire
Posted by Australian Music Centre on 22 July, 2013
The AMC asked leading practitioners to select their favourite Australian art song repertoire, to provide delegates to the 2013 International Conference of Vocal Teachers (Brisbane 2013) with an introduction to this rich and diverse landscape.
A virtuosic work for 4 female singers and harp, brilliantly composed to suit the range and timbre of each voice. The harp part is not for the faint-hearted. Care has to be taken to tease out the individual vocal lines as the texture is sometimes busy, but overall the piece is so satisfying to sing as an ensemble that taking it apart in rehearsal is sheer joy. There is an achingly gorgeous solo for low mezzo and the end of the work is sublime.