And ever shall be : mezzo-soprano voice with chamber ensemble
by Jennifer Fowler (1989)
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Library shelf no. CD 2541 [Available for loan]
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Library shelf no. 783.67542/FOW 1 [Available for loan]
And Ever Shall Be is a set of 4 songs, scored for mezzo-soprano and 8 instruments. The words are traditional verse and capture significant aspects of a woman's life, the kind of aspects which have always occurred and always will: hence the title. The first is a setting of Early One Morning about seduction and betrayal (a common theme of traditional verse!); the 2nd, Dance to Thy Daddy, takes pleasure in a child; Lady Maisry is a sad story of a woman dying; and The Shoemakker is a forthright expression of disgust with a mismatched husband.
As far as musical language goes, I have been aiming to achieve a context where the choice of each note is significant; where there can be "right" notes and "wrong" notes; and where each note relates significantly to the notes surrounding it. I wanted to be able to travel, in a carefully controlled way, from the point where it can be appropriate to echo some simple broken triads from the original melody of Early One Morning; through greater chromaticism, to the point where the language becomes nearly (but not quite) "neutral", and back again; where this travelling creates tensions, a sense of direction, and becomes a part of the ebb and flow of the phrasing. At the same time I was aiming for a quality of "artlessness" which would be appropriate to the words.
Instrumentation: Mezzo-soprano, flute/piccolo, oboe/cor anglais, clarinet, bass trombone, violin, viola, violoncello, percussion.
Duration: 23 min.
Contents note: 1. Early One Morning -- 2. Dance To Thy Daddy -- 3. Lady Maisry -- 4. The Shoe Maker.
Commission note: Commissioned by BBC.
The words are English traditional, from The Oxford Book of English traditional verse.
Scores for individual songs available on request.
Performances of this work
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