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Thea Musgrave

Publisher: Novello & Co

Nocturnes and Arias (1965)
Chester Music Ltd
Sub Category
Large Orchestra
Year Composed
21 Minutes
Programme Note
Thea Musgrave Nocturnes and Arias (1965)
Nocturnes and Arias for orchestra is dedicated to Normal del Mar who conducted the first performance with the Radio-Orchester Beromuenster in 1968.

The work is a suite taken from my opera The Decision. Even before work on the opera had begun, Mr del Mar, quoting the example of Britten’s ‘Four Sea Interludes’ from ‘Peter Grimes’, suggested that one day I might consider the possibility of adapting any interludes there might be into an orchestral suite.

When I eventually followed up this idea, I soon discovered that to make a valid orchestral work with good formal balance and a satisfactory placing of climaxes, I would have to rearrange and reorder most of the musical material. I also decided to include some of the arias from the opera (hence the title of the work) and these of course had to be reorchestrated to incorporate the original vocal lines into the score.

There are seven short movements:

Prelude / Nocturne I / Aria I / Aria II / Nocturne II / Interlude / Aria III and Coda.

Thea Musgrave

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