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Two Shakespeare songs : for soprano and piano

by Wendy Hiscocks

Two Shakespeare songs


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Two Shakespeare songs : for soprano and piano / Wendy Hiscocks.

Library shelf no. 783.66542/HIS 4 [Not for loan]

Work Overview

In 'When Icicles hang by the Wall' (from Shakespeare's Love's Labours Lost) I picture the icy north wind as the storyteller. Outwardly she's cold and icy, frost glistening on her face, but inwardly she's full of fire, playful, humorous and thoroughly enjoying a nip at people's fingers and noses. 'Where the Bee Sucks' (from The Tempest) reflects Ariel's feelings, a free spirit of light and air who, after years of imprisonment in the trunk of a tree, will be set free after his service to Prospero. As his release draws near, he breaks into delighted song and dance at the thought.

When performing the first of these songs, it is important for the pianist to maintain the rhythm of the tarantella; a rolling, skipping rhythm with a real lift. Rhythmic detail is equally important in Ariel's dance where there is a slight emphasis on the quaver off-­‐‑beat to observe as well as the main beat.

The 'Two Shakespeare Songs' have enjoyed various interpretations over the years. Two of the most memorable were by soprano Sarah Redgwick who performed them at the Barbican in her Gold Medal winning recital and Camille van Lunen singing them with the composer at the piano at the Kings Lynn Festival.

Work Details

Instrumentation: Soprano voice, piano.

Difficulty: Advanced — Approx AMEB Grade 8

Contents note: When icicles hang by the wall (2 min., 20 sec.) -- Where the bee sucks (1 min., 10 sec.).

When icicles hang by the wall (1992) ; Where the bee sucks (1991)

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