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Sings Harry

for baritone and piano

Year:  1954   ·  Duration:  10m

Year:  1954
Duration:  10m

Composer:   Douglas Lilburn

Films, Audio & Samples

Douglas Lilburn: Sings Harr...

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Douglas Lilburn: Sings Harr...

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Douglas Lilburn: Sings Harr...

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Douglas Lilburn: Sings Harr...

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Sample Score

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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

Contents note

I.These songs will not stand
II. When I am old sings Harry
III. Once the Days
IV. The Casual Man
V. The Flowers of the Sea
VI. I Remember

Text note

Text: Denis Glover

Performance history

05 Aug 2008: Contemporary Visions

12 Dec 2009: Opera Society End-of-Year

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: Voices for Christchurch

17 Sep 2011: The Flowers of the Sea

25 Sep 2013: Robbie Ellis - Otago University Lunchtime Concert

18 Jan 2015: Performed by Roger Wilson (baritone) and Rachel Thomson (piano) at the IRMT Conference 2015, Wellington.

21 Feb 2015: Celebrating Lilburn | A Centenary Concert

15 Apr 2015: A concert of New Zealand music

19 Apr 2015: A concert of New Zealand music

22 Apr 2015: Gallipoli 1915 Commemoration Concert

22 Apr 2015: A concert of New Zealand music

23 Apr 2015: NZSM Lilburn Studio and 100th Birthday Launch

Performed by Terence Finnigan (tenor), Frederick Page (piano)

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