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And ever shall be : mezzo-soprano voice with chamber ensemble

by Jennifer Fowler (1989)

Audio Sample

Performance by Linda Hurst, Lontano ensemble, Odaline de la Martinez from the CD Works of Jennifer Fowler. Transcriptions Disc 2

Works of Jennifer Fowler. Transcriptions Disc 2


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And ever shall be


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And ever shall be : set of 4 songs for mezzo-soprano & 8 instruments / Jennifer Fowler.

Library shelf no. 783.67542/FOW 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

And Ever Shall Be is a set of 4 songs, scored for mezzo-soprano and 8 instruments. The words are traditional verse and capture significant aspects of a woman's life, the kind of aspects which have always occurred and always will: hence the title. The first is a setting of Early One Morning about seduction and betrayal (a common theme of traditional verse!); the 2nd, Dance to Thy Daddy, takes pleasure in a child; Lady Maisry is a sad story of a woman dying; and The Shoemakker is a forthright expression of disgust with a mismatched husband.

As far as musical language goes, I have been aiming to achieve a context where the choice of each note is significant; where there can be "right" notes and "wrong" notes; and where each note relates significantly to the notes surrounding it. I wanted to be able to travel, in a carefully controlled way, from the point where it can be appropriate to echo some simple broken triads from the original melody of Early One Morning; through greater chromaticism, to the point where the language becomes nearly (but not quite) "neutral", and back again; where this travelling creates tensions, a sense of direction, and becomes a part of the ebb and flow of the phrasing. At the same time I was aiming for a quality of "artlessness" which would be appropriate to the words.

Work Details

Year: 1989

Instrumentation: Mezzo-soprano, flute/piccolo, oboe/cor anglais, clarinet, bass trombone, violin, viola, violoncello, percussion.

Duration: 23 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Contents note: 1. Early One Morning -- 2. Dance To Thy Daddy -- 3. Lady Maisry -- 4. The Shoe Maker.

Commission note: Commissioned by BBC.

First performance: by Linda Hirst, Lontano ensemble — 30 Nov 89. St John's, Smith Square, London, UK

The words are English traditional, from The Oxford Book of English traditional verse.

Scores for individual songs may be performed separately.

Performances of this work

21 Apr 91: Christ and St Stephen's Church, New York City, USA. Featuring North/South Consonance (Ensemble), Constance Beavon.

30 Sep 90: Elm St Hall, North Melbourne, VIC. Featuring Astra Chamber Music Society, Merlyn Quaife.

30 Nov 89: St John's, Smith Square, London, UK. Featuring Linda Hirst, Lontano ensemble.

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