The vision of Mary MacKillop
by Miriam Hyde (1992)
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This sample is from the Duos: Soprano, tenor with chamber ensemble version of this work
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Miriam Hyde spoke of sharing the birthdate of Mary MacKillop (15th January-1913 and 1842 respectively) and that this discovery led her to enter the latter's mission through music. The result is a hybrid work with the current title, begun in 1992 in Oxford and completed and performed in 1993 in Sydney. It was written for solo piano with seven instances of dramatic recitative style vocal writing and touching upon certain aspects of Mary MacKillop's life. The work was unpublished and comes to us in Miriam Hyde's own handwritten score as well as her own solo piano recording. Its form suggests some relationship to oratorio.
Following the composer's suggestion for an orchestrated version, the work was arranged for a chamber ensemble plus two singers.
Some containment was necessary in respect to tempi, for what is quite logical in a solo piano performance with all its expressive rubato is not necessarily transferable to the dynamics of an ensemble.
Miriam Hyde made her own notes regarding the bell tolls. She speaks of one of her examiners, Dr Basil Johnson, who showed the 14 year old composer a combination of three notes that he considered aptly represented a Church bell (A, G# and C).
The composer has used this chord at the opening to 'suggest religious connotations early in Mary's childhood.' The chord is featured in different transpositions, returning to its original pitch at the end. The text, also written by the composer, is referred to as 'spoken music.'
Duration: 9 min.
- Has as subject/About: MacKillop, Mary
Performances of this work
Unknown date: Christchurch Saint Laurence, Sydney. Featuring Miriam Hyde.
17 Aug 08: Shore School Auditorium, North Sydney. Featuring Deborah Riedel, Paul Ferris, James Muir, Christine Draeger, Joseph Hanic, Francesco Celata, Ben Jacks, Natsuko Yoshimoto, Fiona Ziegler, Jeremy Williams, Patrick Murphy, Alex Henery, Edward Primrose.
19 Mar 93: St. Joseph's, North Sydney. Featuring Miriam Hyde.
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