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Three Shakespeare sonnets : for medium voice and piano

by Justin McKay (2012, this version: 2013)

Also known as: 3 Shakespeare sonnets

Score Sample

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Audio Sample

Performance by Justin McKay from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 45.

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Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 45.


This item is not commercially available from the Australian Music Centre. We regret that we cannot offer it for sale.


Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 45.

Library shelf no. CD 2538 [Available for loan]

Three Shakespeare sonnets

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We expect this item to be back in stock and available for purchase on 30 Jun 2020.


Three Shakespeare sonnets : for medium voice and piano / Justin McKay.

Library shelf no. 783.4542/MCK 1 [Not for loan]

Display all products featuring this work (1 more)  

Work Overview

Composed in 2012, after having premiered an opera (The Tempest) and incidental music (Much Ado About Nothing) based upon Shakespeare's works, Three Shakespeare Sonnets are written in a restrained and understated style. Falling within the form of lieder, the richly melodic vocal parts are set over inventive and at times intricate piano fantasies. The composer has chosen to highlight certain aspects of each sonnet, giving each a slightly different character, and remaining with it throughout. Sonnet 18 has an amorous character, Sonnet 30, more contemplative, while Sonnet 76 draws on baroque influences.
Throughout, the text has been set in a somewhat, but not fully, declamatory style: at times the iambic rhythms are evident, and at others they take a backseat to the flow of the music. The composer's intention in setting Shakespeare's poetry has been to bring out the intrinsic music of the text, with emphasis on the underlying emotions which they may awaken in the reader or listener.

Work Details

Year: 2012, this version: 2013

Instrumentation: Medium voice, piano.

Duration: 9 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Contents note: Sonnet No. 18 (c.3’32) -- Sonnet No. 30 (c.3’05) -- Sonnet No. 76 (c.2’20).

Performances of this work

Unknown date: featuring Justin McKay.

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