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Three Songs on Old Texts

for mezzo-soprano, viola and cello

Year:  2021   ·  Duration:  8m

Year:  2021
Duration:  8m

Chris Adams

Composer:   Chris Adams

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Score

Sample: pages 3, 9, 12 and 16 of score

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These songs were originally written while at the University of Otago Wallace residence at Pah Homestead. The texts are all from around the 16th Century. The first, 'The Three Rauens', is of English origin, appearing as the text for a song in Thomas Ravenscroft's Melismata. The second, 'The Elphin Knight', is Scottish and is an older version of 'Scarborough Fair'. The final song, 'Je ne l'ose dire', is the text from a madrigal by Pierre Certon, and is a gossip song about a man who is being cuckolded by his wife.

Originally composed for soprano and piano, this version was adapted for performance by singer, violist and cellist at Classical on Cuba 2021.

Dedication note

for Helen Acheson

Contents note

  1. The Three Rauens
  2. The Elphin Knight
  3. Je ne l'ose dire

Text note

The three texts come from around the 16th century:

  • 'The Three Rauens' is the text from a song in Melismata published by Thomas Ravenscroft in 1611
  • 'The Elphin Knight' is an old Scottish ballad which is the basis for the text for 'Scarborough Fair'
  • 'Je ne l’ose' dire is the text from a madrigal by Pierre Certon published in 1572