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Willow songs : six poems of Anne Stevenson

by Andrew Ford (2009)

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Waves I


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Waves I / Halcyon.

Library shelf no. CD 2721 [Available for loan]

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Work Details

Year: 2009

Instrumentation: Soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto flute/piccolo, clarinet in A/bass clarinet, percussion (1 player), piano.

Duration: 20 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Dedication note: For Alison and Jenny

Commission note: Commissioned by Halcyon with funds provided by Barbara Blackman.

First performance: by Halcyon at Halcyon (Trackdown Scoring Stage, The Entertainment Quarter) on 26 Sep 2009

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for/to
2013 Paul Lowin Song Cycle Prize Highly Commended Andrew Ford


Resonate article: 2013 Lowin Prize winners: Elliott Gyger and Nigel Westlake by Australian Music Centre

Resonate article: Paul Lowin Prizes 2013 - finalists announced by Australian Music Centre


Performances of this work

6 Sep 2014: at Halcyon | Soundstream Collective: Stolen (Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music). Featuring Halcyon.

2 Sep 2014: at Halcyon | Soundstream Collective: Stolen (ABC Studio 520). Featuring Halcyon.

26 Sep 2009: at Halcyon (Trackdown Scoring Stage, The Entertainment Quarter). Featuring Halcyon.

User reviews

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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.
Willow Songs provides a richly nuanced portrait of different stages in a woman’s life with elegantly contemporary poems by Anne Stevenson.  A through-composed song cycle, though divided into seven distinct poems, it features solos for both voices as well as duo sections. The unusual instrumentation provides wonderfully rich accompanying colours which cleverly reflect the changing moods of the poems – at times brash, wild, naïve or nostalgic.  While the soprano range is not wide, the mezzo needs a solid top and a strong lower register with numerous low Es and a few bottom Ds in the final movement.