Duration: 8'00" |
Ensemble: children's voices piano
(Performance here by Kings Junior Voices.)
Wonderfully inventive and characterful settings for children's choir of three poems from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland:
How doth the little crocodile
The Lobster Quadrille
Soup of the Evening
I don't recall when I first decided I wanted to set these fabulously colourful and wonderfully silly texts from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - a book I can't quite believe is 150 years old this year! - but certainly The Mock Turtle's Song was firmly in my mind when I was asked to write a piece for Cambridge-based children's choir, King's Junior Voices.
Even though my aim was always to produce something accessible and enjoyable I also wanted to write music that would challenge young singers, something reflective of the contemporary music that is at the centre of my own musical life and above all something that, even when in only one part, is truly choral, not simply a song.
Hearing that first performance, sung so beautifully in King's College chapel, I was determined to add to the set.
Just as Lewis Carroll presents his outlandish, near-nonsense poems in the familiar form of children's nursery rhymes, so I have paired conventionally tonal melodic material with outlandish time signatures, (5/8, 7/8, and a heavily syncopated 4/4) in a parallel which I hope captures the playfulness and twinkle of Carroll's texts.
I dedicate Curiouser and Curiouser! to King's Junior Voices and to their conductor Lynette Alcantara whose encouragement has been invaluable.
I hope that you enjoy singing these songs as much as I have enjoyed writing them!