Bid time return
for soprano and piano

Derek Healey
Derek Healey
Date de composition : 2008
Date de révision : 2009
Durée: 00:14:30
Genre: Solo Voice, With Solo Instrument, , Keyboards


Instrumentation no. 1:
  • 1 x Piano
  • 1 x Soprano
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Notes de programme :
As the titIe Bid Time Return denotes, each of the eight songs has in various ways, a strong link with tile past; the subject matter referring to earlier events or interests in my life. In some cases, the accompaniment to songs uses material from earlier works.
The group opens with settings of two of my own texts. In Cold Dawn, the voice sings of the end of a sleep-starved night, as outside birds sing in the new spring season. The overall musical effect is of two different tempi, the soprano's melody is in 6/8, while the accompaniment consists of bird's-song and sustained material using a 'wedge' row. The subject matter of the second song Kensington: 1954 is the remembrance of a walk, in sulphur coloured smog, through Kensington Gardens on the way to classes at the Royal College of Music, London. The piano part uses material from a bagatelle written at the time.
This is followed by a love song, in the form of a Triolet, in which the relatively slow voice part is superimposed over a very fast, blurred, pianissimo, accompaniment. Next comes a setting of a poem describing a visit in 1962 to Palestrina, the birthplace of the composer, made while studying in Rome. The piano part is influenced in part by the work of the great Rennaisance choral composer.
The fifth song is a setting of Ariel's well-know song from Shakespeare's The Tempest, commencing Before you can say 'come' and 'go'. It uses phrases from Butterflies, an extended work of mine for voice and chamber ensemble written in 1970.
The next two songs are concerned with my interest in Zen Buddhism during the early 1970's. The first, Mantra, uses as a text a reply by the sage Joshu (Chao-Chou) to the question, What is the ultimate principle of Buddhism? The song consists entirely of ostinati. The text of the second of these Zen songs is by Han Shan (Late 8th century) and describes his frustration as he tries to avoid the use of cliche while writing a poem. The piano part makes use of a row I used while studying in Rome in the early 1960's.
The final song, Requiescat, uses an anonymous Ancient Greek text translated by the Rev. H. Wellesley, in which the poet prays that only beautiful plants, such as narcissus, marjoram, violets and roses, bedeck the new grave of his friend Vibius. The piano makes use of short ostinati phrases and active pedal points.
The cycle, which is dedicated to Mei Zhong, was completed in August 2008, additional material was added in the Fall of 2009. The title is borrowed from Shakespeare.
- Derek Healey November 13th 2009


  • Cote:
  • MV 1101 H434bi
  • Genre:
  • Solo Voice, With Solo Instrument, , Keyboards
  • Date d'acquisition :
  • April 26, 2011
  • Type:
  • Partition, inédite
  • Description physique :
  • 1 score (27 p.) ;
    27 pages
    Hauteur: 28 cm
    Largeur: 22 cm
  • Renseignements supplémentaires :

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Bid Time Return for Soprano and Piano: Partition
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