Sun : song cycle for baritone and piano
by Peter Sculthorpe (1960, this version: 2010)
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Library shelf no. 783.88547/SCU 1 [Available for loan]
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Version: This product features the Soprano with piano version of this work
Library shelf no. 783.66547/SCU 1 [Available for loan]
I completed the song cycle Sun in 1960, when I was studying at Oxford. Dedicated to Wilfrid Mellers and his first wife, Peggy, it was first performed at the Attingham Park Summer School, Shropshire, in the same year.
A setting of poems by D H Lawrence, the work tells of a journey from a desolate place to a place of everlasting light. It consists of three motivically-related songs: Into the Sea, Tropic and Sun in Me. At the time of writing it, I was very much influenced by Lawrence's ideas concerning the sun as both life-giver and destroyer. I related these to my own experience as an Australian and the song cycle is a precursor of my orchestral series, Sun Music.
Late in 1960, I withdrew the work, feeling that the final song failed to mirror the emotions contained in the poem. In the following year I was inspired to rewrite the song. I used a wordless setting of it at the end of Irkanda IV, for solo violin, strings and percussion, a work written in memory of my father. I have now incorporated this into the song cycle itself, revising the whole work in 2009.
Reflecting the text, the work tells of a journey from a dark place to a place of everlasting light. In arranging it for baritone and piano, I was able to make a particularly strong statement.
Year: 1960, this version: 2010
Instrumentation: Baritone, piano.
Duration: 11 min.
Contents note: Into the Sea -- Tropic -- Sun in Me.
Written for: Peter Coleman-Wright
Commission note: Originally for soprano and piano, this arrangement for baritone and piano was made especially for Peter Coleman-Wright, following a request from Ian Ritchie, Artistic Director of the City of London festival.
Resonate article: Sculthorpe concerts at Canberra International Music Festival by Jennifer Gall
- In the form/style of: Song Cycles
Performances of this work
28 Jul 2013: at Australian Song at Kincoppal (Performing Arts Centre, Kincoppal - Rose Bay).
7 May 2009: at Sun in Me - a portrait concert for Peter Sculthorpe's 80th birthday (National Portrait Gallery). Featuring Mina Kanaridis, Alan Hicks.
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