Witches Song

Poet:  Ben Johnson (1573-1637)

Source: single song

Date of Composition:  1929 (21 Feb.)

Publication: manuscript; not available for performance

Voice Difficulty Level: Moderate

Subject:  Casting a spell

Range:  Ab3 – F5

Tessitura:  Db4 – Db5

Tempo:  Poco Allegro; 12/8

Duration:  00:40

Vocal Characteristics: Britten indicates “mysterioso e sotto voce;” wordy and repetitive; patter song quality

Piano Difficulty Level:  Moderate

Accompaniment Characteristics: Churning triplet eighth-notes; chromatic; consistently moving; dynamic contrasts;

Additional Comments: Some room for rubato.  According to correspondence between the authors and the Britten-Pears Foundation this song is in preparation for publication.

© Nicholas Perna and Mandy Spivak 2013