A birthday (vocal quintets)
by Vaughan McAlley (2010)
Performance by Angeli Vocal Ensemble from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 46.
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Library shelf no. CD 2547 [Available for loan]
A Birthday was composed for the wedding of my friends Kate McBride and Tom Reid. The poetry by Christina Rosetti (1830-1894) joyfully depicts the potential of new (and of not-so-new) love:
My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these,
Because my love is come to me.
Raise me a daïs of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.
The poetry is very sensuous, and I have tried to depict this in the music.
Instrumentation: SATTB choir, or five vocal soloists.
Duration: 3 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Requires good tuning
Dedication note: Written for the wedding of Kate McBride and Tom Reid, 24 April 2010.
The composer has noted the following styles, genres, influences, etc on this work:
Choral, just intonation, madrigal, renaissance.
- Has as subject/About: Wedding music
Performances of this work
26 Jun 11: Trinity College Chapel, Parkville, Vic. Featuring Angeli Vocal Ensemble.
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