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Scoring - - solo countertenor - choir - perc.tmp - pft - hp - str

Abbreviations (PDF)


Boosey & Hawkes

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.


Composer's Notes

The work is in seven movements played without interruption, linked by passages of gentle percussion sounds, like quiet interludes in different languages and contrasting styles. I used eight texts drawn from folk poetry in six languages (French, English, Italian, Serbian, German and Ladino): lullabies, a counting rhyme, a love song, and pagan songs about nature.

Reflecting our nostalgia for our childhood and time forever lost, this work is a tribute to a great man who left an indelible mark on Canada’s musical landscape: Maestro Mario Bernardi. A man who helped to build our wonderful nation by adding a dash of the cultural spice — in this case, Italy.

The piece includes two texts in Italian: Mie mama mata mata, a rhyme in the Venetian dialect to reflect the time he spent studying music in Treviso and Venice from 1938-45; and the Tarantella del Gargano which is in the Puglian dialect, native to the southern Italian region of Puglia.

The other texts are from "la claire fontaine," a French song popular with the coureurs des bois and which became the first national anthem of New France; the lullabies Golden slumbers kiss your eyes (in English), Guter Mond (“Dear moon,” in German), Durme, durme (“Sleep, sleep,” in Ladino); and Lazarka and Dodole (in Serbian), a flower-picking song and a song accompanying a dance to make the earth fertile.

The movement "Mie mama mata mata" is dedicated to Ettore Truant.*
The movement "Tarantella del Gargano" is dedicated to Flavia Gervasi* and to the memory of the remarkable Italian folk singer Andrea Sacco.

*for their invaluable help with the Venetian and Puglian dialects, respectively.

Recommended Recording

Orchestre du Centre national des Arts du Canada, Capital Chamber Choir, Cantata Singers of Ottawa
David DQ Lee
Analekta AN 2 8873


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