Choirmaster's Burial (The Tenor Man's Song)

Poet: Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

Source:  Winter Words

Date of Composition:  1953 (Mar. – Sep.)

Publication: Boosey & Hawkes, 1953

Voice Difficulty Level: Moderately Difficult

Subject:  Story of the dead choirmaster’s burial.

Range:  G4 – G5

Tessitura:  Bb4 – Eb5

Tempo: Simply; 3/2

Duration:  03:05

Vocal Characteristics: Unaccompanied sections; independent vocal line; lilting melismas that descend; a character voice for the Vicar; a floated, legato section building to a full climax;

Piano Difficulty Level:  Difficult

Accompaniment Characteristics: Chordal section; heavy arpeggiated figures to represent different characters; section of left handed eighth-notes with eighth-note chord interjections in the right hand; legato duple against triple in contrary motion between hands;

Additional Comments: Manuscript does not include numerical tempo marking; p. 23, the phrase “by the choirmaster’s grave,” has different text with the exact same music in the manuscript

© Nicholas Perna and Mandy Spivak 2013