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Mrs Hargreaves remembers : soprano voice with piano

by Martin Wesley-Smith (1997)

Work Overview

see http://www.shoalhaven.net.au/~mwsmith/hargreaves.html

In 1932, 79-year-old Mrs Reginald Hargreaves travelled to America from her native England to receive an honorary doctorate from Columbia University in New York. It was the centenary of Lewis Carroll's birth, and Mrs Hargreaves, before marriage to crack county cricketer Reggie, had been Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll's best-known nonsense classics Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass - and What Alice Found There. The doctorate was in recognition of her role in the creation of those masterpieces of English literature.

This piece depicts (quite fancifully) Mrs Hargreaves, the night before the degree is to be conferred, having a massage while rehearsing her acceptance speech. She soon wanders from what she had prepared and reminisces, with great fondness, about her childhood friend the Rev'rend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll's real self). Her main focus is his depiction of himself as the White Knight in Through the Looking-Glass.

Work Details

Year: 1997

Instrumentation: Soprano, masseur/euse, piano.

Duration: 10 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

The composer states this work is:

tonal, melodic, very singable

Performances of this work

11 Jul 97: Alliance Francaise Society, Sydney. Featuring Miriam Gordon, Luke Dollman, Spring Ensemble.

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