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TOM JAMES
Waxing Crescent & Waning Crescent are songs 2 and 6 from a projected 7-song cycle setting fragments (in translation) by the ancient Greek poet Sappho (~630-570 BC). The two poems here talk of the moon; the first optimistic and radiant:
Awed by her splendor
Stars near the lovely
Moon cover their own
Bright faces
When she
Is roundest and lights
Earth with her silver
... and the second defeated and empty:
Midnight!
And like the hour,
The Moon and the
Pleiades have gone
And I,
I sleep alone.
In setting these words, I have created two songs that are in many ways reflections of one another; the musical material is shared but the treatment is quite different. The structure is also mirrored in that the first has a substantial instrumental coda, whereas the second has a long introduction before the soprano entry. The mixture of old and new instruments reflects for me the unusual exoticism of the poetry, ancient yet immediate.
List of works
BWV 555 Boom
Industrial Landscape I
Remote Location I
Morning Music
Green Man
Quartet
Players and performances
Part of the Brandenburg Project 18-20 April 2013.
Waxing Crescent
Waning Crescent
St Anthony’s Sermon to the Fish
Crop Circle
Foenix Occidit
Three Northumbrian Folk Tunes
Score and clip open in new windows.
Shroud
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© 2015 Tom James, Tom Owen, Jenny Jackson & Chris Noble.
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Waning Crescent
Voice
Director
Violins
Viola
Cello
Bass
Recorder
Keyboard
Sophia Carroll
Tom Owen
Gavin Usher, Tom Davies
Natalie Roper
Charlie Hardwick
Sam Beagles
Tom James
Chris Noble