David Sawer: Songs of Love and War

David Sawer Songs of Love and War
Songs of Love and War

David Sawer: Songs of Love and War

Year of composition:
1990
Scored for:
for 24 voices, 2 harps, 2 percussions
Composer:
David Sawer
Choir:
SATB
Instrumentation details:
Stimmen(24)
harp(2)
percussion(2)
Commission:
Commissioned by the BBC for the BBC Singers
Duration:
12’
Dedication:
for Mauricio Kagel
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Audiosamples

Songs of Love and War
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The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

Work introduction

I wanted to reverse the idea of Monteverdi’s ‘Madrigali guerrieri ed amorosi’ (which depicts the emotions of love through the terminology of war) by expressing the changing emotional conditions of war (loneliness, uncertainty, anxiety and so on) through the terminology of love: I assembled a text using lines from twelve Second World War songs, making an imaginary narrative:

‘Goodbye Sally’, ‘We’ll Meet Again’, ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’, ‘I’ll Never Smile again’, ‘Yours’, ‘Who’s Taking You Home Tonight’, ‘You’ll Never Know’, ‘A Little On The Lonely Side’, ‘Till You Come Home’, ‘I Don’t Want To Walk Without You’, ‘I’ll Walk Alone’, ‘Goodnight Wherever You Are’.

The percussion provide ‘noise’ interference, playing instruments which allude to the sound-effect repertoire: sandpaper blocks, train whistles, jazz kit and so on.

Songs of Love and War is dedicated to Mauricio Kagel on his sixtieth birthday.

David Sawer

World première

Location:
Frankfurt am Main
Date:
07.12.1990
Orchestra:
Ensemble Modern
Conductor:
Simon Joly

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