Treble Clef Music Press Catalogue, 1997-98:
Piece Descriptions

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Secular music

Three Shakespeare Songs, Op. 39, by Amy Beach (1867-1944)
Clear-textured settings of the fairies' songs from A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest, these songs are lavishly effective in their text setting, harmony, rhythm, and dynamics. The beauty of sound of women's voices shines through these pieces. First published in 1897.
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Les sirènes (The Sirens), by Lili Boulanger (1893-1918)

The sea creatures whose irresistible singing lures sailors onto the rocks, boast of their deadly beauty in this impressionistic setting of a French text. "We are the loveliness that charms the strongest..." Chosen for the 1997 ACDA National Convention women's chorus reading session.
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Dum Dianae vitrea (When Diana's silver light)
Mabel Wheeler Daniels (1878-1971)

Both sound and sense of the Carmina Burana text on the restful loveliness of moonrise are beautifully set in this lyrical, technically strong piece, first published in 1942.
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Housekeeper's Tragedy, arr. Hermene Eichhorn
Every chorus needs a silly song, and this North Carolina folk song is it: a jaunty tune, passed from part to part, chronicles the struggles of the grime-fighting housewife who finally "lay down and died and was buried in dirt." Audiences really enjoy this one!
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Sea Visions, by Daniel E. Gawthrop

The central poem, by Madeleine L'Engle, depicts Neptune as a Sea Bishop who blesses all the creatures of sea and land. Gawthrop's vocally grateful text setting is particularly strong here, with occasional imitative entrances.
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Spring Pastoral: Lisa, by Mary Howe (1882-1964)

"Lisa, go dip your long white hands/In the cool waters of that spring..." The "evanescent dreaminess" (Mrs. Howe's words) of the text are set in an impressionistic style, with repeated evocations of "Lisa, Lisa" by the chorus. First published in 1936.
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Suo Gân (traditional Welsh lullaby), arr. Thomas Edward Morgan
Lush voicing and the subtle rhythmic texture of the choral accompaniment highlight the simple appeal of the ageless tune. With full Welsh text and phonetic rendition underlaid in the score, and word-by-word and prose translations.
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Eleanor Wylie: Incantations, by Alice Parker
Mirroring the poems they set, these pieces express a rare depth of emotion through spare choral textures. Demanding-- and rewarding-- parts for piano and clarinet.

I. Incantation

A driving 7/8 piano ostinato heightens the musical tension of antiphonal invocations of darkness and light.

II. Nameless Song

"My heart is cold and weather-worn": heavy chromatic chords in the piano underlie choral appoggiaturas in parallel movement, expressing sorrow and loss.

III. Fair Annet's Song

Arpeggiated passages in contrary motion for piano and clarinet, and scattered choral melodies, express fleeting nature: "One thing comes and another thing goes."

IV. Madman's Song
Galloping rhythms portray the lure of the hunt, and the urge to follow and "hallo, hallo," in this paean to impulsive action.

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Women on the Plains: Three Canadian Folk Songs, arr. Alice Parker

1. Old Grandma

Vigorous hemiola rhythms paint the picture of the endlessly busy woman pioneer, the loyal helpmeet to Grandpa, as she works through her staggering list of chores. "It's no wonder Grandma's hair turned gray!"

2. Away, Far Down the River (Adieu de la mariée)

The pioneer bride bids farewell to her parents as she prepares to go West, leaving everything she knows. This haunting setting has lovely birdcall effects in the accompaniment.

3. Punching the Dough

This pioneer wife speaks for every exasperated woman who knows that "shooting out biscuits" takes more gumption than shooting out windows and lights! Energetic syncopations will keep you on your toes.

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Songs of Sunrise, by Ethel Smyth (1858-1944)

1. Laggard Dawn

"Sisters, the poor and friendless need you..." An elegaic song of keeping hope alive during the long struggle for women's suffrage, first published in 1911. Lovely horn calls in paired voices, with an effective chromatic coda.

3. The March of the Women

"Shout! Shout! Up with your song!" The battle anthem of the British women's suffrage movement, this stirring piece expresses women's strength and solidarity in wider struggles, "shoulder to shoulder and friend to friend." First published in 1911.

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Christmas is Coming, arr. Lana Walter
The traditional round, "Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat" is set over a charmingly goofy three-part scat choral accompaniment. Soprano I section, or a guest children's chorus, can sing the round.
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Flow Gently, Sweet Afton, arr. Lana Walter
A lyrical setting of this Robert Burns text, with sensitively drawn rhythmic interest in the piano part.
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The Quangle Wangle's Hat, by Felicity Williams

Chorus members play small percussion to represent the flock of imaginary animals who come to roost on the Quangle-Wangle's hat. While this piece was written for school children, adult women have been known to argue, "No, I wanna be the Fimble Fowl!" Fun for chorus and audience.
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