Home > Choir + keyboard > Wagtail & Baby (SA / duet + piano)

Wagtail & Baby (SA / duet + piano)

Composer
Year of composition
1993
Lyricist
Thomas Hardy
Difficulty
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
Duration
2 minutes
Genre
Modern classical music
Instrumentation
Choir + keyboard
Instrumental parts
Not available

This is a setting of one of Thomas Hardy’s later poems, about a baby watching a bird at a river crossing. The wagtail remains there happily while various animals cross, but flies off in terror as soon as a ’gentleman’ approaches. Hardy’s poem is an early alarm that all may not be well with the human place in the wider eco-system.

These days society is more ’green’ and eco-aware. It’s now more about solutions than symptoms. What should we be doing to promote wildlife, conservation and sustainability?

Musically, the piano accompaniment paints the context quite literally and needs a fairly competent pianist. The harmonic language strays into (and out of) bitonality but you always sense the home key. The time signature changes quite freely, but without disrupting the natural flow. There are wide contrasts and bold lingering pauses.

This piece could be performed by a choir or by 2 soloists.

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This score was submitted by Andy Murray. If you wish to perform, record, or broadcast this music then you should contact them first.

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