Four Shakespeare songs : for soprano and piano
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O for a muse of fire : Shakespeare settings by Australian composers / Michael Halliwell, baritone ; David Miller, piano.
Version: This product features the Baritone with piano version of this work
Library shelf no. CD 1913 [Available for loan]
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Library shelf no. 783.66542/SCU 2 [Available for loan]
When I was a student at the University Conservatorium of Music in
Melbourne, I entered a collection of Shakespeare settings in the
1948 Victorian School Music Association Composition Competition.
To my delight, the collection was judged as runner-up. I felt
this recognition helped justify my desire to be a composer in the
eyes of my parents. The songs, designed for use in schools, were
gathered together under the title, A Glimpse of Seventeenth
Century England, for unison voices and piano.
Apart from a few sketches, all that remains of the collection are 'Take, O Take Those Lips Away' and 'Sigh No More, Ladies'. In 2000, I revised these two songs, along with 'O Mistress Mine', and my good friend David Leisner arranged them for voice and guitar in 2011. In order to complete the cycle, devoted to aspects of love, I later added a much-revised version of 'Come Away, Death'.
Instrumentation: Soprano, piano.
Duration: 10 min.
Contents note: I Take, O, take thy lips away (from Measure for Measure) -- II O Mistress mine (from Twelfth Night) -- III Sigh no more, ladies (from Much Ado about Nothing) -- IV Come away, Death (from Twelfth Night).
The first and third of these songs were written in 1947, during student days at the University Conservatorium of Music, Melbourne. The second and third were written especially for a Canberra production of Twelfth Night, directed by Anne Godfrey-Smith, in 1956. All four songs have since been revised, some of them substantially so.
Performances of this work
11 May 12: Various venues in Canberra, ACT
29 Jun 56: Performed by members of the Canberra Repertory Society at the Riverside Theatre, Canberra
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My favourite Australian art song repertoire
Posted by Australian Music Centre on 22 July, 2013
The AMC asked leading practitioners to select their favourite Australian art song repertoire, to provide delegates to the 2013 International Conference of Vocal Teachers (Brisbane 2013) with an introduction to this rich and diverse landscape.
Four Shakespeare Songs (Take, O take those lips; Mistress MIne; Sigh no more, ladies; Come away death)
A cohesive group of lyrical songs that add more to these well known and often set texts. "Come away death" is a particularly powerful song. Originally composed for medium voice and piano they have recently been arranged for voice and guitar.