Samiksha Jaiswal

Eight Songs for a Mad King

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Based on  words by George III
Written  1969
Librettist  Randolph Stow
Genre  Monodrama
First performance  22 April 1969
Composer  Peter Maxwell Davies
Language  English
Eight Songs for a Mad King image016jpg
Premiere  22 April 1969 (1969-04-22) London
Similar  The Lighthouse, Kommilitonen!, The Telephone, Erwartung, Florencia en el Amazonas

Peter maxwell davies eight songs for a mad king for baritone and ensemble 1969 score video


Eight Songs for a Mad King is a monodrama by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies with a libretto by Randolph Stow, based on words of George III. The work was written for the South-African actor Roy Hart and the composer's ensemble the Pierrot Players, and premiered on 22 April 1969. Lasting half an hour, it is scored for a baritone, with an extraordinary command of extended techniques covering more than five octaves, and six players:

Contents

Eight Songs for a Mad King image012gif
  • flute (doubling piccolo)
  • clarinet
  • percussion(1): railway whistle/snare drum/ 2 susp.cymbals /foot cyms/ 2 wood blocks / bass drum/chains/ratchet/tom-toms/tamtam/tambourine/rototoms/toy bird-calls/2tpl.bl/ wind chimes/crotales/sleigh bells/glockenspiel/steel bars/crow/didgeridoo
  • piano (doubling harpsichord and dulcimer)
  • violin
  • cello

  • Eight Songs for a Mad King Aurora Orchestra on Twitter quotPeterMaxwellDavies39 amazing birdcage

    The songs derive from tunes played by an extant mechanical organ owned by George III, tunes that he attempted to train bullfinches to sing:

    Eight Songs for a Mad King wwwroyhartcompicturesongs1jpg
    1. The Sentry (King Prussia's Minuet)
    2. The Country Walk (La Promenade)
    3. The Lady-In-Waiting (Miss Musgrave's Fancy)
    4. To Be Sung On The Water (The Waterman)
    5. The Phantom Queen (He's Ay A-Kissing Me)
    6. The Counterfeit (Le Conterfaite)
    7. Country Dance (Scotch Bonnett)
    8. The Review (A Spanish March)
    Eight Songs for a Mad King Peter Maxwell Davies Eight Songs for a Mad King 1969

    The action unfolds as a soliloquy by the king, the players being placed on stage (ideally) in large birdcages, and climaxes in his snatching and smashing the violin.

    Eight Songs for a Mad King 8 songs for a mad king George III39s text for Roy Hart

    The score is published by Boosey & Hawkes, and its cover shows a famous excerpt in which the staves are arranged like the bars of a birdcage.

    Besides Hart, exponents of this work have included William Pearson, Michael Rippon, Thomas Meglioranza, Julius Eastman and Vincent Ranallo. The Swedish baritone Olle Persson performed the work in Stockholm in the 1990s. The British baritone Richard Suart has performed the piece in Gelsenkirchen‚ Milan‚ Helsinki‚ Strasbourg‚ Stavanger and Paris; in 1987 The Musical Times described Suart's take as "compelling from start to finish". Welsh baritone Kelvin Thomas sang the role at Munich's Kammerspiele Schauspielhaus in 2011, and in a production by Music Theatre Wales in 2013.

    Peter maxwell davies born 1934 eight songs for a mad king with subtitles


    References

    Eight Songs for a Mad King Wikipedia


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