Five Childhood Lyrics

Five Childhood Lyrics
Choral music by John Rutter
" The Owl and the Pussycat", 1888 illustration by Edward Lear, whose text is set in the second song
Text Nursery rhymes
Performed 1973 (1973): London
Published 1974 (1974): Oxford OUP
Movements five
Scoring SATB choir

Five Childhood Lyrics is a choral composition by John Rutter, who set five texts, poems and nursery rhymes, for four vocal parts ( SATB with some divisi) a cappella. [1] Rutter composed the work for the London Concord Singers who first performed them in 1973. [2]

The five movements are: [2]

  1. Monday's Child
  2. The Owl and the Pussycat
  3. Windy Nights
  4. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
  5. Sing a Song of Sixpence

The first song is based on " Monday's Child", a fortune-telling song and nursery rhyme. The text of the second song is " The Owl and the Pussycat", a nonsense-poem by Edward Lear published in 1871. The third song is based on a poem, " Windy Nights", by Robert Louis Stevenson. The text for the fourth song is " Matthew, Mark, Luke and John", a nursery rhyme and evening prayer. The fifth song uses the nursery rhyme " Sing a Song of Sixpence". The composer noted: "The Five Childhood lyrics are a kind of 'homage' to the world of children. I chose for my texts some of the rhymes and verses remembered from my earliest years, and set them to music as simply as I could—though the last of the five, which uses a familiar nursery tune, contains a certain amount of tongue-in-cheek elaboration." [3] The pieces were described by a reviewer for Gramophone as "delightful compositions", [4] while another reviewer noted "the energy and sharp-witted invention that characterize these youthful pieces". [5] The work was first published in 1974 by Oxford University Press. [6] [7]

The songs were recorded in a collection of Rutter's secular works titled Fancies, performed under his direction by the Cambridge Singers, together with the summer songs of the same name, the winter songs When Icicles Hang, [8] and the instrumental Suite Antique. [1] They were recorded in 2002 on an album of secular music by Rutter, with Nicol Matt conducting the Nordic Chamber Choir. [4]

  • references


  1. ^ a b "Fancies". Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Bawden, John. "Five Childhood Lyrics" (PDF). Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "Fancies". Hyperion Records. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Steane, John (2002). "Rutter I My Best Loved's Am". Gramophone. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  5. ^ Vernier, David. "I My Best Beloved's Am". Classics Today. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  6. ^ "John Rutter / Five Childhood Lyrics". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 6 July 2016. 
  7. ^ Five Childhood Lyrics. Oxford University Press. 1974. 
  8. ^ The title derives from Shakespeare's Love's Labours Lost, v.2.
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