Tonal – too tonal really but an ironic twist to atonal=atonement. I started on it earlier in the year as a rest.   It could almost pass off as the poor man’s Delius.

The Song of Songs is probably too big a work for someone of the scale of Bruckner let alone me but the first Chapter is within reach.

Unlike Penderecki who took a religious view and wrote a noisy, discordant setting I went more for a sedate love-song slant.

I planned a big orchestra but this fragment uses just a string orchestra, a string quintet, a couple of winds and a backing choir of sopranos and altos. Unfortunately the mezzo ‘la-lahs’ to the lyrics.

In the score I’ve hidden all unused staves except the voices and main strings.

The fragment ends at 1’55”. Beyond are a couple of bars of the next section – a more lively mood.

There’s still work to be done on this so please, if you can give it a listen and any comment, good or bad, would be appreciated. The score is a bit “first draft” so if you’re of a mind to pull it to pieces, please do.

Many thanks.

Song of songs 192.mp3

01 - Song of Songs 1- 1, 2 - 260921 - yrstruly.pdf

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  • Tonal yes and very romantic to my ear.  Still some of your Dane idioms are lurking in the phrases which give this an interesting twist, like there is another song barely hidden from me here. Your choice of material is interesting, this text is pretty earthy but the tradional interpretation would have us believe it is quite sacred.  I don't want to be disrespectful but your lush setting here doesn't seem sacred. Maybe that is the message? I didn't review Delius or Penderecki, maybe that would help explain. I do like it and I think you should continue.

    Ending with a begining is yet another twist.

    • Hey Ingo,

      Many thanks for listening and your comments. The material has fascinated me for a long time and I've always thought of it as a love poem even though biblical interpretations are usually liturgical. I was working from the Latin Vulgate and the translations into English aren't always accurate. Even so it has deeper esoteric meanings as far as my limited knowledge allows me to know!  

      Delius wrote a few small pieces very typical of his style. "On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring" is a good example...but it needs to be conducted by Beecham! Delius is all Nature in all Her moods.

      Glad it made sense at far!

  •  Lovely opening! It's coherent, it develops its material enough not to outstay its welcome, I love the lush harmonies, and it goes into the next movement at the right time. This is very promising for a full cycle.

    "Poor man's Delius"? Yes, it has that feel of one of those romantic composers who stuck with their initial idiom while the world around them was quickly going into a new direction. That's not necessarily bad, and definitely easy on the ears.

    • Thank you for your kind comments and listening, Victor.  Much appreciated, and I'm glad the structure such as it is in just this intro held together enough.

      I usually write more intense, chromatic stuff but slip into this lighter style as 'relief' hence declaring it tonal if tainted with a little chromaticism. Yes, I'm perhaps too fond of Delius, more his symbolist stuff though, very different from Debussy. I need a detox but I'll be blowed if I'd listen to someone like Ferneyhough!

      Again, thanks. 

  • Very Nice

  • Hi Dane,

    Beautiful, elegant...  I have a feeling of incompleteness as you use material and drop it

    quickly.  But probably this is how you write throughly.  

    I believe you should go ahead and write the rest.  



    Note: I greatly appreciate the score and the mp3 together.

  •  Dane,

    I do hope you continue this! The opening is reminiscent to me of the music of Florence Price, such as "Dances in the Canebrakes", and you are right that there is a similar feel to Delius in some of the harmonic content, especially right around 0:50. I enjoyed your use of chords, and it seems like there are fragments in the introduction that you can easily pick back up and develop further in later sections of the work, as you write it. Nicely done!

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