Nimitybelle : tenor voice with piano
by Fred Hill (2018)
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Library shelf no. 783.87542/HIL 2 [Available for loan]
This is one of a series of settings of the work of the Australian poet John Shaw Neilson (1870-1942) whom I am not alone in regarding as one of the most instinctively lyrical tha this country has produced. A self-educated rural labourer, Neilson exemplifies the peasant-poet, comparable with John Clare or Robert Burns. The directness of his rhyme-scheme and imagery in this poem, which is a celebration of small-town life, calls for melodic and harmonic clarity. The last line "we rented a cottage in Nimitybelle" reflects the modest aspirations of the speaker. My aim is to reflect the gentle pace of the original, without recourse to nostalgia.
Instrumentation: Voice (tenor), piano.
Duration: 3 min.
Difficulty: Medium — Lyrical, some extended harmonies in accompaniment. Sits comfortably in the tenor range.
Nimitybelle is part of a collection of several Neilson settings, but any stylistic unity between them is coincidental.
The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
If there is any hint of the "English pastoral style. exemplified in the works of Vaughan Williams or Gerald Finzi, it is incidental rather than by design. There may be a hint of jazz harmony in the interludes between verses. It is in a barely modified AABA form, with a "hook" at the end of each A section.
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