Choral music by
Jonathan Little -
'... Australian music with a difference.'
Woefully Arrayed, written in 2016 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the National Boys Choir of Australia, sets, quietly and reflectively, three verses of words on a Lenten theme, attributed to the English poet John Skelton (c1463-1529), a tutor to Henry VIII and (possibly) self-appointed poet laureate. Beginning the work, and returning in an increasingly embellished, strong and celebratory form after each verse, providing contrast, is a refrain which sets these Skelton words:
My blode, man,
For thee ran,
It may not be naide;
My body blo and wanne,
The setting uses Venetian polychoral-style techniques, including spatial effects, plus multiple choral lines and divisi.
In an interesting and extended CD booklet essay, Polychorality: Some Observations, Hugh Keyte notes that we have much still to learn about the lost spatial techniques of polychoral composers, and refers to the music here as 'practical experiments' which provide 'a most enterprising way forward'...
Copyright © 27 June 2018