Pied Beauty

1983 3 minutes
Soprano, choir SATB, piano and percussion
Text Gerard Manly Hopkins
 Christchurch, New Zealand
 Winterthur, Switzerland

This was originally written for the 1983 Graduation Ceremony of the Christchurch Teachers College and my farewell from that institution.

I intended writing a cycle of settings of Hopkins’ texts in the same style and with the same instrumentation but so far this has not happended.

Scored for SATB plus solo soprano, piano and percussion ensemble (4 timpani, xylophone, wood drums, bass drum, triangle, suspended cymbal and sandpaper blocks). The setting uses only 4 notes: C, D, F and G. The meter of the quaver pulses is 3 + 3 + 2. The duration is about 3 minutes.

It was very well performed by the College choir under the baton of my colleague Frank Dennis and solo soprano Christine Argyle. Later it was performed in Switzerland by Willi Gohl and his Singkreis.