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Sheet Music: Score

A birthday / Vaughan McAlley ; words by Christina Rossetti

by Vaughan McAlley (2010)

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  • Library Availability: 783.15542/MCA 1 — Available for loan
  • Instrumentation: SATTB choir, or five vocal soloists.
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  • Audio Sample

    Performance by Angeli Vocal Ensemble from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 46.


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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.

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 facsimile score (6p. -- A4 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced — Requires good tuning

Duration: 3 min.

Dedication note: Written for the wedding of Kate McBride and Tom Reid, 24 April 2010.

First performance by Katy Norman, Leonie Tonkin, Vaughan McAlley, Peter Campbell, Thomas Drent — 24 Apr 10. Butleigh Wootton, Kew

The composer has noted the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Just intonation, madrigal, renaissance.

Typeset edition.

This edition produced 16 Sep 19.

ISMN: 979-0-67311-270-4

Related products

This work is also available in the following products:

Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 46.
CD: Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 46.

Music from 4 to 40 Parts
CD: Music from 4 to 40 Parts / Vaughan McAlley.


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