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Sample: Page 1 'Clear Sky'See details ➔
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Douglas Lilburn: Three Songs for voice and piano - hardcopy HANDWRITTEN SCOREHardcopy fascimile
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"The three poems here set have always seemed to me to share some ambient and most poignant awareness of our experience on these islands, whether of small remote sounds in summer, the desolation of a crippled gull, or the brilliance of summer harvesting, or whatever might make us feel at home" -Douglas Lilburn
Lilburn found an underlying experiential similarity in these poems by Ruth Dallas (Nos. 1 and 2) and Basil Dowling (No. 3), which he drew the fore in his settings. The keyboard introduction of "Clear Sky" captures the play of expansiveness (in the broad registral reach) and homeliness (the repeated motifs) that characterises the set as a whole. In "The Picnic" the spacious quality of the keyboard, evoking the circling swallows in their easy flight, is tinged by a haunting iambic limp. Lilburn's word painting here is poignant and ironic: vocal melismas depict the crumpled, curled foot of the one-footed gull, and our (short) memories of his sorry sight. "Summer Afternoon" sums up the ambivalent mood of the set. The declamatory voice (also found in "The Picnic") gradually becomes more lyrical, and a sense of progress is conveyed through the rising vocal line (as in "Clear Sky"). Yet there is a lingering sadness. The keyboard's recurrent fluttering seventh and off-beat falling fourth recalls the desolation and troubling limp of "The Picnic".
(Note by Nancy November).
- Clear Sky
- The Picnic
- Summer Afternoon
Texts by 1. Ruth Dallas; 2. Ruth Dallas; 3. Basil Dowling
16 Jan 2004: Performed by Jose Aparicio (tenor), Paul Cibis (piano).
02 Mar 2008: Performed by Judy Bellingham (soprano) and Terence Dennis (piano) in Wanganui
22 May 2008: Performed by Judy Bellingham (soprano) and Terence Dennis (piano) at Marama Hall, University of Otago, Dunedin
30 Jun 2011: Performed by Hadleigh Adams and Catherine Norton (piano) at St Lawrence Jewry in London as part of the 2011 City of London Festival
07 Jul 2013: Performed by Clare Pierard and Florence Chalamet (piano) at the Château de Puygiron as part of the 2013 Puygiron Art Festival, in Puygiron, France
Performed by Tracey Chadwell (soprano) and Pamela Lidiard (piano)
Performed by Judy Bellingham (soprano) and Terence Dennis (piano) in Libya
Performed by Gina Sanders and Kay Shacklock