The Ballad of the Canterbury Pilgrims : for soprano, tenor, baritone and piano
by Diana Blom (2015)
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The Ballad of the Canterbury pilgrims : for soprano, tenor, baritone and piano / music by Diana Blom ; text by Geoffrey Chaucer.
Library shelf no. 783.13547/BLO 1 [Not for loan]
Geoffrey Chaucer's classic set of stories, The Canterbury Tales (mid-14th century), is rich with characters from a range of England's social classes, each making a pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral to visit the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket. These portraits were ideal for setting to music for a trio of singers - Jamie Reimer (soprano), Kevin Hanrahan (tenor), Jeffrey Jones (baritone) - allowing solos, duets and trios. The piano supports each character's personality and plays with a descending eight bell peal of Canterbury Cathedral. Drawing on a ballad structure, the song focuses on five pilgrims - the knight, his squire, the nun, the cook and a good wife - plus a chorus which bookends the work, the texts all drawn from the Prologue to The Canterbury Tales. The language is a mixture of Middle English and Modern English, with words retained and inter-changed to rhyme or suit the music's rhythmic setting.
The work is dedicated to the three singers.
Instrumentation: Soprano, tenor, baritone, piano.
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