The Lorelei : for SSA choir and piano
by Linda Kouvaras (2004)
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Library shelf no. 782.5542/KOU 3 [Available for loan]
"According to German legend, there was once a beautiful young maiden, named Lorelei, who threw herself headlong into the river in despair over a faithless lover. Upon her death she was transformed into a siren and could from that time on be heard singing on a rock along the Rhine River, near St. Goar. Her hypnotic music lured sailors to their death. The legend is based on an echoing rock with that name near Sankt Goarshausen, Germany." (Micha F. Lindemans - http://www.pantheon.org/articles/l/lorelei.html)
Lorelei is Germany's most famous ghost. In his eponymously named poem (from Selected Poems 1956-1994, Oxford: OUP, 1995, p. 84), Chris Wallace-Crabbe has Australianised her. Instead of lurking about rocks along the Rhine River, she can be spotted on the highway from Bordertown to Nhill, or in Gippsland, or along the Great Divide. Instead of sailors, her prey are drivers from whom she hitches a lift, and whom she renders "spooked as hell". Unlike the ill-fated sailors in the German legend, these drivers can potentially escape their doom - so long as they follow the advice in the poem…
Instrumentation: SSA choir, piano.
Duration: 9 min.
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