Sheet Music: Score
The Six Swans : SSATB Choir & Piano / music by Luke Byrne ; lyrics based on Grimms' adapted by the composer.
by Luke Byrne (2019)
Grimm's tales didn't feature prominently in
my childhood, and it was only quite recently that I came to them
via the Australian author and artist Shaun Tan. In his book 'The
Singing Bones' Tan does not simply illustrate or
re-tell the stories, but creates a single clay sculpture for each
story he chose, accompanied by a short excerpt of text, that
captures an essence of "Rapunzel", "Mother Holle" or "The
Turnip". To me this was the perfect model for a piece of music
inspired by Grimm's.
The Six Swans has a narrative device that is absolutely magical: to save her six brothers a girl must sew shirts from aster flowers ("aster" being derived from the Latin for "star") over six years where she can't speak and she even gives birth in that time! This in turn gave me the idea of using the names of stars woven together in a musical montage to evoke the passing of that time.
I also picked this story because it has a happy end, and my other Grimm's are all rather dark or deathly. The essence I wanted to capture of The Six Swans is the sense of anticipation of the day when all will be well, symbolised by the swans flying home.
Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 facsimile score (13p. -- A4 (portrait))
Difficulty: Advanced — Virtuosic piano part
Duration: 4 mins, 48 sec.
Includes program notes and copy of full text.
This work is also available in the following products:
Digital Audio Album: 30 Years / Hunter Singers.
- Browse other works for SATB Choir with piano
- Browse other works by Luke Byrne
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