Babel is a blessing: eight songs in eight languages

John Plant
John Plant
Composition Date: 2006
Genre: Solo Voice, With Solo Instrument, , Keyboards


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Piano
  • 1 x Unspecified voice
Programme Note:
Babel is a blessing stems from my lifelong infatuation with languages. I date my vocation as a composer from the chance discovery of a bilingual libretto of Mozart's Marriage of Figaro at the age of ten. In Babel, I tried to convey
something of the unique rhythm, colour and spirit of each language chosen: classical Greek, Latin, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, German and
English. There was no ground plan for the choice of texts; I simply chose
those poems which embodied the passionate lyrical intensity and vitality of eight facets of human experience, modulated through eight languages.
The order given is the composer's suggestion, and he has found it to be effective in performance. But the songs may be performed in any order, and
performers should feel free to perform them singly if they desire.
An orchestral version also exists.

Recording: MSR 1327, released 2009

Premiere Information:
November 12, 2009 St. Mary's University Art Gallery Halifax, Nova Scotia Live: Jocelyne Fleury, mezzo-soprano; John Plant, piano


  • Call Number:
  • MV 1101 P713ba
  • Genre:
  • Solo Voice, With Solo Instrument, , Keyboards
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • December 18, 2009
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (53 p.)
    53 Pages
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 22 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • Huit chants dans huit langues pour voix et piano.
    Pipe song
    Hier, l'inachevable
    Seconda fuga
    Anoche cuando dormía
    Song of a man who has come through
    Lament on the death of a sparrow
    Chornyi voron
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Vocal Music for Eight LanguagesVocal Music for Eight LanguagesCD $17.98
Babel is a blessing: eight songs in eight languages For information about this piece, please contact
Copies of this work are available for loan from: Montréal, Calgary, Vancouver