William Blake triptych : for SATB choir
by Gerald Glynn (1981)
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Library shelf no. 782.55542/GLY 1 [Available for loan]
The William Blake Triptych, written during the period I spent at the Sydney Conservatorium as Visiting Lecturer at the Composition School, consists of settings of three of Blake's Songs of Experience, 'The Sick Rose', 'The Tyger' and 'A Poison Tree'.
The vocal writing is close and chromatic in 'The Sick Rose'. There is no pause between this first panel of the triptych and the second, 'The Tyger'. One member of the choir has a pair of claves which are now heard, to underline the tension and energy of this poem. They are also used to signal the conclusion of 'The Tyger' and provide a brief transition to 'A Poison Tree'. The third and final panel of the triptych is the simplest and fastest moving of the three; the voices, often in adjacent pairs, move through the text until all four join forces for the final stanza, which ends with a cadence derived from 'The Sick Rose'. Thus the triptych closes, folding back in upon itself.
Instrumentation: SATB choir. The Tyger requires claves, preferably played by a choir member.
Duration: 11 min.
Contents note: The sick rose -- The tyger -- A poison tree.
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