Epithalamium : for mezzo-soprano and string quartet
by Andrew Ford (1991, this version: 1998)
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Year: 1991, this version: 1998
Instrumentation: Mezzo-soprano, 2 violins, viola, cello.
Duration: 5 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Advanced student/professional.
Commission note: Written during the composer's time at Peggy Glanville-Hicks House, Paddington, Sydney
Words from Act IV of 'The Tempest'.
Epithalamium, by Andrew Ford
Source: Recorded live at Halcyon concert 'Lily on a Black Wave: Modern composers interpret Shakespeare' at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music on 6 October 2007
An epithalamium (or epithalamion) is a song after a wedding. This one sets words from the wedding scene of Ferdinand and Miranda in Act IV of Shakespeare's The Tempest. The words themselves may or may not be by Shakespeare – a number of Shakespeare scholars have their doubts that he wrote this part of the play – but the blessing delivered by the three spirits, in the forms of the goddesses Juno, Ceres and Iris, contains some delightful imagery.
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