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Three Songs from "Othello"

for SSATB choir

Year:  1983   ·  Duration:  9m

Year:  1983
Duration:  9m

David Hamilton

Composer:   David Hamilton

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Audio

Sample: 2:15 - 3:15 from The Willow Song

See details ➔
Sample Score

Sample: Pages 1-2,5-6,12-13

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During 1983 Epsom Girls Grammar School and Auckland Grammar School undertook a co-production of Shakespeare's Othello, for which I was asked to compose incidental music. The producer gave me a free hand with my approach to the score, and the 12 musicians played about half an hour's music during the play. One aspect of Othello that appealed was the fact that three songs had to be set to music - the 2 drinking songs in Act 2, and the well-known Willow Song in Act 4. I knew from the time I had been asked to compose the music that I didn't want to write 'pseudo-Elizabethan' music. Hence, the first drinking song is a 'blues' number, and the second a lively setting containing constant time signature changes. In this arrangement for SSATB voices I have used the drinking songs to frame the Willow Song - a gentle and reflective setting featuring the melody mainly in the alto part.

Contents note

  1. An let me the Cannikin clink
  2. The Willow Song
  3. King Stephen

Text note

Text from Shakespeare's Othello

Performance history

06 Jun 2009: Shared Secrets

Performed by Viva Voce conducted by John Rosser in 1990

Performed by Viva Voce in 2005