Saturday, October 25, 2014
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Old Abram Brown
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Old Abram Brown

Sheet Music
Voicing/Format SATB
Composer Britten, Benjamin
Publisher Boosey & Hawkes Inc

Price: $2.10

Catalog #48003198

UPC code: 073999577242

Unavailable for Digital Delivery

Text: anon. (in 4 parts)

Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes

Difficulty level: 1-2

This set of mainly unison songs [Friday Afternoons] for young voices is a gift for a concert of music for upper voices. It is a substantial work taken as a whole but its individual movements are both short and straightforward in their various challenges. Britten wrote the work for the boys of his brother's preparatory school (age 7-13), Clive House, Prestatyn, in Wales to sing. However he encountered a problem with copyright over the use of the Lone Dog. He therefore wrote Begone, dull care to replace it. When these issues were resolved years later the song was included as an appendix item in the 1994 edition.

The real beauty of these songs is that Britten never writes down for the children. These are art songs in the best sense of the word and mix both dark and light humour with seriousness and romance to create a little world of changing scenes and emotions. The texts are, as always, carefully chosen to give Britten maximum variety of mood and to challenge and encourage the childrens' interest and involvement. The piano parts carry a lot of the responsibility for the creation of mood and atmosphere and ideally need a pianist of reasonable accomplishment to do them justice. In There was a monkey Britten writes an increasingly challenging part which is very effective in making the charged mood rise to its climax. However, he writes an easier alternative part which can be play

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