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Time Pieces

for TTBB choir and piano

Year:  2004   ·  Duration:  11m

Year:  2004
Duration:  11m

David Hamilton

Composer:   David Hamilton

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Score

Sample: Pages 1-2,10-11,13-14

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The texts for these three pieces all come from The Oxford Treasury of Time Poems, hence the title of the short cycle. They were prompted by a request for something fairly straightforward and quick to learn for the choir of Marlborough Boys' College.

The first piece of the cycle was written for that choir, and I decided to complete a short set of pieces on the subject of time. Old Man Know-All tells of someone who won't listen and thinks he knows everything, leading to his demise. The text is a traditional one, probably American in origin. The first verse presents the main melody without any other vocal accompaniment, and thereafter a number of ostinato-like patterns feature as accompaniment. The piece ends with a short canon for the voices. The piano part has an insistent bass line setting off some more jazzy rhythms in the treble.

The second piece sets a short poem by Christina Rossetti. Here the voices are unaccompanied. It presents the thoughts of someone looking to a point beyond their death, and the fact that he or she will no longer be concerned with the sights and sounds of life.

The third piece sets an anonymous text about the Judgement Day. Each day of the week is presented with an associated climatic event: a great storm on Monday, the freezing on Tuesday, the wind on Wednesday, the rain on Thursday, a dark cloud on Friday, and finally the great sea on Saturday. The music uses a vigorous gospel-spiritual style.

Dedication note

Dedicated to Marlborough Boy's College

Contents note

A short song cycle:

  1. Old Man Know-All
  2. Song
  3. The Judgement Flood

Text note

Traditional text, text by Christina Rosetti and anonymous text from The Oxford Treasury of Time Poems