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Ian Venables: Ian Venables: Mixed Choir And Piano/Organ

At the Court Of The Poisoned Rose

COMPOSER: Ian Venables
PUBLISHER: Novello and Co
PRODUCT FORMAT: Vocal Score
Programme Note: The song At the Court of the Poisoned Rose was commissioned by the countertenor, James Huw-Jeffries. It is based upon a long prose poem by the Scottish poetess Marion Angus (1866-1946).Published under the title of Alas! Poor Queen, the poem narrates the tragic story of the life of
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Specifications
Composer Ian Venables
Publisher Novello and Co
Instrumentation Countertenor, Mezzo-Soprano and Piano
Product Format Vocal Score
Genre Classical
Style Period Post 1901
ISBN 9781785589348
No. MUSNOV167123
Description

Programme Note: The song At the Court of the Poisoned Rose was commissioned by the countertenor, James Huw-Jeffries. It is based upon a long prose poem by the Scottish poetess Marion Angus (1866-1946).Published under the title of Alas! Poor Queen, the poem narrates the tragic story of the life of Mary, Queen of Scots, who was manipulated by the political ambitions of those around her. Given the work’s length and sectionalnature, the song is more akin to a ‘Dramatic Scena’. The music opens mysteriously, setting a nostalgic atmosphere that seeks to mirror the queen’s confinement and sense of resignation. This is followed byacontrasting section that conveys her love of life’s trivialities and her capricious nature – it is quicker in tempo. These two ideas are subsequently developed and reshaped. At the words ‘she rode throughLiddesdale with a song’ I have adapted an aire by the Elizabethan composer Philip Rosseter and interpolated material from the previous sections. The emotional climax of the work comes on the poignant words ‘Queensshould be cold and wise’.

In spite of this, the lighthearted and earthly bound music returns reminding us that the Queen only ‘loved little things and red-legged partridges, and the golden fishes of the Duc deGuise’.

- Ian Venables

Duration: c. 6 minutes

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