The Maiden on the Moor

for Counter-Tenor or Contralto and Chamber Orchestra

Peter Schickele

Rental
Publisher: Elkan-Vogel, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

Since April, 1965, John Ferrante and I have appeared together in hundreds of concerts devoted to the music of P.D.Q. Bach, and early on we expressed the desire to each other to collaborate someday on a serious project as well. The catalyst was provided when the countertenor was engaged to sing with the Mostovoy Soloists of Philadelphia, and "Maiden on the Moor" was completed on April 22, 1975. I had been having trouble finding text that seemed suitable; during the previous February, we were touring all over the Eastern half of the United States in a bus, and every time we played a college town (as soon as I had checked out the auditorium and been assured that there were no crises) I would rush to the local bookstore and look through everything in the poetry department.

I finally found a wonderful collection of medieval English poems translated into modern English by Brian Stone in a manner that fit my needs perfectly: the poems retain a medieval feeling, yet do not employ vocabulary or syntax that would leave a listener puzzled. This latter point is important to me. I like the texts I set to be understandable when heard, not only when read, and although I have seen this poem in other anthologies, I have never found another translation that suits me as well. One assumes from the strange repetitions of incomplete thoughts (?The Primrose and the---/The Primrose and the---?) that the text was originally a lyric set to music; in any case, the incomplete lines add to the mysterious quality of this beautiful 14th-century poem. The orchestra consists of an oboe, 2 French horns, finger cymbals, and strings.

Available on Rental

Additional Information

Composition Date 1975
Duration 00:08:00
Orchestration Ob. 2Hn. Finger Cym. Str.