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Catalogue of Music - Cantatas

CANTATA No. 1
VOCIBUS MULIERUM - WOMEN'S VOICES
Cantata for a cappella chorus: SSAATTBB, mezzo-soprano solo.Duration 18'

1

AVE MARIA
Latin words from the Roman Missal (Angelus & Ave Maria)

Chorus

2

INVIOLATA
Latin words from the Roman Missal (Angelus & Inviolata)
English words from "The Duties of Parents: Reproductive & Educational" (1872)

Chorus and solo

3

WOMEN'S VOICES
English words by the composer

Chorus:
SSA and solo

4

LITANY
Latin words from the Roman Missal (Angelus & Litany to the Blessed Virgin Mary)
English words by Maria Deraisnes (translated from the French by the composer)

Chorus and solo

This cantata examines the Roman Catholic Church's attitude to women by juxtaposing the chorus's singing of Marian Hymns with the soloist singing a variety of English texts reflecting various attitudes to women and sexuality. The cantata opens with the Ave Maria, set as a dialogue between Mary and the Angel. In the second movement Victorian views on sexuality are contrasted with text praising the chasteness of Mary. In the third movement, words by the composer sung by women's chorus explore the changes in women's roles. In the last movement, the soloist sings words, from a speech by the Ninteenth Century French Feminist Maria Deraisnes, which proclaim a woman's right to choose her destiny. At the same time the chorus sing the Latin litany to the Blessed Virgin. By the dramatic closing pages, the women of the chorus have joined the soloist, leaving the men to continue intoning the closing words of the litany.

CANTATA No. 1A
REGINA COELI - QUEEN OF HEAVEN
Cantata for a cappella choir: SSAATTBB and mezzo-soprano solo.Duration 18'

This is a Latin version of Cantata No.1; it replaces the soloist's English words with medieval Latin Hymns. In the second movement the soloist sings the Latin sequence Gaude, Gaude Maria. The third movement is a hypnotic setting of the Salve Regina. In the final movement the soloist sings the hymn Stabat Juxta Christi Crucem.

CANTATA No. 2
MEMORARE
Cantata for a cappella choir: SSATBB and solo French Horn.Duration 16'

1

MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME
English words from the Authorised Version (Psalm 22 verses 1,2)

2

THE DEAD POET
English words by Lord Alfred Douglas

3

BUT I AM A WORM
English words from the Authorised Version (Psalm 22 verses 5,6,15,16)

4

MEMORARE
English words by M.V. Lively

This cantata explores the uneasy relationship between the church and people with AIDS by juxtaposing explorations of loss with words from Psalm 22. The cantata opens with the chorus singing words from the Psalm crying to God that he has forsaken them. The second movement is a setting, for chorus alone, of Lord Alfred Douglas's sonnet on the death of Oscar Wilde, with its images of unsung songs and murdered singing birds. The third movement is a malign scherzo setting further words from the psalm. The last movement is a description of a Candle-lit AIDS memorial procession with the poet moving from despair to finding consolation and support among his fellows.

*"I find MEMORARE beautiful and palatable to the layman, as well as to musicians... To write simply yet subtly is not easy."

Malcolm Williamson
Master of the Queen's Music
(at the first performance of MEMORARE)

CANTATA No. 3
THE YOUNG MAN AND DEATH - A DIALOGUE -
Cantata for chorus: SATB and wind Octet, text by the composer.Duration 25'

An exploration of coming to terms with death, in the form of a dialogue between a dying man and Death. The cantata is divided into 6 dialogues and a closing chorus. The dialogues are based on the states of mind that terminally ill people must go through before accepting their death (Prelude, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance). Each dialogue concludes with a short chorale like movement with words meditating on the subject of the dialogue.


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