Shepherd’s Song takes as its starting point the shepherd’s song played by the cor anglais at the beginning of Act III of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and, more loosely, the shepherd’s song from Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony. While there are no literal quotations from either the Wagner or the Beethoven, there are prolonged passages, particularly in the first half of the piece, which paraphrase the Wagner closely. Much of the music in the second half of the piece deviates more sharply from the model, in terms of both musical material and mood. The intention is to draw upon the pastoral imagery of the original pieces while taking that imagery to new and unexpected places.
Instrumentation: Cor Anglais
Commission: Commissioned by the London Sinfonietta as one of their Sinfonietta Shorts for the World Premiere Wednesday series.
17th October 2019
The Old Church, Stoke Newington
25th September 2019
Studio 2, The Warehouse, Waterloo