Universal Edition - Michael Finnissy – Tom Fool's Wooing

Michael Finnissy

Michael Finnissy
Tom Fool's Wooing

Year of composition: 1975/1978
Scored for: for 14 voices
Composer: Michael Finnissy
Text Source: English, Rumanian, Turkish und Greek folk poetry
Choir: hoher Sopran, 3 Soprane, Mezzosopran, 2 Alte, Contratenor, 2 Tenöre, 2 Baritone und 2 Bässe (3 Sänger bedienen auch Trommeln)
Instrumentation details:

Duration: 20′
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World Première

Location: Milton Court Concert Hall London / Great Britain
Date: 12.03.2016
Orchestra: Guildhall New Music Ensemble
Conductor: James Weeks

Work Introduction

Tom Fool’s Wooing for 14 solo voices, was initially conceived for the John Allldis choir, who had performed an earlier work of mine (Cipriano) for 10-voice ensemble. The writing took from 1975 to 1978, three emotionally and financially turbulent years, and by the time it was finished, the choir was no longer in existence. In 2013 James Weeks told me of his intention to finally perform the work, and, after looking through the score, I decided to considerably revise the central folk-play that lends the work its title. The folk-play is a satirical courtship and wedding-preparation, crude and coarse in content. I have framed it with amatory verses from Eastern Europe and Ancient Greece, along with excerpts from the ‘Epithalamion’ of Edmund Spenser. This ‘love poetry’ concerns the different ways women and men form relationships. The framing sections are elaborate in texture and demand extraordinary virtuosity from the singers, the central play is in extreme contrast – homophonic and simple in rhythm, with two of the singers playing drums.

choral score - Tom Fool's Wooing

Tom Fool's Wooing
  • for 14 voices
  • Edition type: choral score

choral score - Tom Fool's Wooing

Tom Fool's Wooing
  • for 14 voices
  • Edition type: choral score

1 Ensemble that has played this work:

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