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Work

1954
Duration:
10' 00"
Contents:
These songs will not stand; When I am old sings Harry; Once the Days; The Casual Man; The Flowers of the Sea; I Remember

Samples

application/pdf,194k Score (194k) Page 1© Alexander Turnbull Library

External Media on Demand

Programme Note

Sings Harry, a setting of six poems by Denis Glover, tells of an endearingly idiosyncratic New Zealander. It is a prime example of Lilburn’s subtle handling of poetic texts. The self-reflective tone of the protagonist, and the slightly complex narrative mode, are established in the first song: it is Harry’s voice that we hear, Harry singing his home-made song cycle; yet a guiding narrator is ever present to tells us so. One’s awareness of this narrative voice is enhanced throughout the cycle by the recurrent falling-third motif at the phrase ‘sings Harry’, and by the composer’s frequent use of a vocal reciting tone or a pitch to which the voice is drawn. It is nonetheless easy to become absorbed in the various voices of Harry, which range from the crusty critic to the carefree swaggerer. Lilburn captures the fluctuating temporality and unpredictability of his subject with great sensitivity and humour. In the final song, a delightful recollective melange of landscapes and uncles, this is achieved by means of recurrent motifs (the ‘river running by’) and reflective pauses. Sings Harry was released in 1960 on a label called Kiwi New Zealand Composer Edition. It was the third work by Lilburn to be recorded and the sole piece on a 45 rpm disc. Programme note: Nancy November

Text Note:
Text: Denis Glover
Difficulty:
Advanced
Influences:

Performance History

16 Feb 2006 Performed by Roger Wilson (baritone) and Gillian Bibby (piano)
12 Dec 2009 Performed by Matthew Landreth, accompanied by Emma Sayers
Emma Sayers
26 Nov 2010 Performed by Kerry Henderson (baritone) and Babette Hierholzer (piano) at St Gregory’s Church in Woodstock, New York, USA
31 Mar 2011 Performed by Kerry Henderson (baritone) and Babette Hierholzer (piano) as part of the Voices for Christchurch concert, at the Judson Memorial Church in New York, USA
17 Sep 2011 Performed by Roger Wilson (baritone) and Gillian Bibby (piano) at the Wanganui Memorial Hall Concert Chamber, in Wanganui
Roger Wilson
25 Sep 2013 Performed by Robbie Ellis (voice and piano) at Marama Hall, Otago University, Dunedin.
Robbie Ellis
18 Jan 2015 Performed by Roger Wilson (baritone) and Rachel Thomson (piano) at the IRMT Conference 2015, Wellington.
21 Feb 2015 Performed by Roger Wilson (baritone) and Gillian Bibby (piano) at the Prince Edward Auditorium at Wanganui Collegiate School, in Whanganui.
15 Apr 2015 Performed by Robbie Ellis (voice) and Corwin Newall (piano) at Marama Hall, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
19 Apr 2015 Performed by Robbie Ellis (voice) and Corwin Newall (piano), at Rannoch, Auckland, New Zealand.
22 Apr 2015 Performed by Robert Tucker (baritone) and Terence Dennis (piano) at Marama Hall, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Terence Dennis
23 Apr 2015 Performend by Roger Wilson (baritone) and Gillian Bibby (piano) at the Adam Concert Room, New Zealand School of Music, Wellington, New Zealand.
Roger Wilson

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