Stephen Oliver: Shorter secular vocal works

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 2027 MS Mus. 1366
  • Alternative Id.
      (ark) ark:/81055/vdc_100000000713.0x00011a
  • Dates of Creation
      1965-1987
  • Language of Material
      English
  • Physical Description
      1 volume (270 folios)

Scope and Content

All vocal scores unless stated otherwise. Nos 1-18, 24, 26, 31 and 35-36 are not listed in the composer's catalogue. Dates given for these pieces are those written on the manuscripts.

ff. 1-5. 'Birthday Song for Maria Björnson”. Photocopy.

f. 6. 'Dinner Announcement', for voice, two trumpets and trombone. Full score.

ff. 7-41. 'Endymion Solus', for two voices and piano (incomplete). Synopsis, photocopy and sketches.

ff. 42-45. Song, first words 'Except for you', for tenor, bass and instrumental ensemble.

ff. 46-47. 'From The Crusader's Return', song and recitative, words by Mrs. Hemans. Begins 'If I could hear that laughing voice again'.

f. 48. 'Gaudy Night', melodrama, words by Dorothy L. Sayers. Photocopy.

f. 49. 'Happy Birthday to O.G.O', for three voices and piano.

ff. 50-52. Piece, first words 'In the cottages of the humble', for four voices.

ff. 53-76. Songs, for soprano, flute, trumpet, viola and piano. Full scores. 'The Moon', words by Percy Bysshe Shelley (ff. 53-54); 'The Nun', words by Leigh Hunt (ff. 55-56); 'Severn's first letter', words by Joseph Severn (f. 57); 'And silent', words by George Gordon, Lord Byron (f. 58); 'Severn's second letter' (f. 59); 'Lady Blessington's letter', words by Marguerite, Lady Blessington, fragment only (f. 60); 'The time I've lost', words by Thomas Moore (ff. 61-62); 'First our pleasures die', words by Shelley. Full score, vocal score, 2 photocopies (ff. 63-72). This song published in vocal score by Novello, 1989; 'My soul is an enchanted boat', words by Shelley (ff. 73-76). Another setting of Shelley's 'The Moon' is found on ff. 145-146.

ff. 77-79. Songs for voice and piano. 'To Music, to becalm his fever', words by Robert Herrick (f. 77); 'Cradle Song', words by Padraic Colum. Draft in pencil and ink score (ff. 78-79).

ff. 80-97. Songs. 'After the dragon' (ff. 80-82); 'Testing, testing' (ff. 83-85); 'The cautionary tale of Arbuthnot Crawl, who didn't know what was relevant' (ff. 86-88); 'The Summer Exhibition waltz' (ff. 89-93); 'A solo song', a setting for unaccompanied voice of George Herbert's poem 'Bitter-sweet' (ff. 94-95); 'Vertue', a setting for unaccompanied voice of the last 2 stanzas of George Herbert's poem 'Vertue' (ff. 96-97). The last two items take the form of greetings cards.

ff. 98-128. Song, first words 'Tu ne quaesieris', a setting of Horace's 'Carminum liber I:XI' for voice, violin, cor anglais and cello. Full score.

ff. 129-132. 'We bring much love', round, composed for the retirement party of George [?].

ff. 133-136. 'Welcome Merlin', for voices and piano, possibly written for a Girl Guide Festival.

f. 137. 'Pilgrimage', for mixed chorus and solo flute; dated March 1965.

ff. 138-139. 'Love-songs of sundrie natures', for 'altus' and harpsichord; May 1965. 'Come, Phyllis, come'; - 'I saw my lady weep', words anonymous; - 'The frailty', words by Abraham Cowley; - 'Hope'.

ff. 140-143. 'Three Madrigals', for mixed chorus; 24-25 July 1965. In pencil. 'Absence', words by Richard Jago; - 'To violets'; words by Robert Herrick; - 'How can the heart forget her?', words anonymous.

f. 144. 'Go, Lovely Rose', for voice and piano, words by Edmund Waller; September 1965.

ff. 145-6. 'The Moon', for bass singer, flute and timpani, words by Percy Bysshe Shelley; February 1966. A different setting from that for soprano on ff. 53-54.

ff. 147-156. 'The Phoenix and the Turtle', for bass singer, flute and piano, words by William Shakespeare; 23 July 1966. With a version for three voices and piano.

ff. 157-162. 'Riddles', song cycle, for soprano, alto, tenor and bass soloists and instrumental ensemble; August 1966. Full score.

ff. 163-166. 'Evening', for baritone and piano, words by William Wordsworth; 1966. Two copies, dated August and September 1966, one entitled 'The Sea'.

ff. 167-168. 'As when a homing bird', for treble voices and organ, words by the composer's grandmother, Margaret Girdlestone; November 1966.

ff. 169-173. 'La Belle Dame sans Merci', for soprano and piano, words by John Keats; February 1967.

ff. 174-183. Songs for a Gang Show, probably 1968

ff. 184-189. 'Three Canzonets for two equal voices'; January 1968. 'Chanson innocente', words by e.e.cummings, 'This is just to say', words by William Carlos Williams, 'Lay your sleeping head, my love', words by W.H.Auden. Two copies, the second also including 'Celebrating Jane (again)', words by Bernard Gilbert; see below, no. 28.

ff. 190-199. 'Chanson innocente', for two equal voices, words by e.e.cummings; January 1968. Two copies. Performed at Chester Music Festival in 1968. With related correspondence, and adjudication by Peter Gellhorn.

ff. 200-205. 'Canzonets', for two and four voices; October 1969. 'Ite', words by Ezra Pound; - 'Coda', words by Robert Graves; - 'Celebrating Jane (again)', words by Bernard Gilbert; - 'Words from a darkened room iv', words by Bernard Gilbert; - 'To Mistress Margery Wentworth', words by John Skelton; - 'Here's a little mouse', words by e. e. cummings; - 'A mad dirge for Marcello', words by John Webster; - 'Overheard on a saltmarsh', words by Harold Monro; - 'A dirge for Fidele', words by Shakespeare.

ff. 206-210. 'Overheard on a saltmarsh', words by Harold Monro; October 1972. Dedicated to the King's Singers. Photocopy of manuscript, as published by Novello.

ff. 211-223. 'Big George, a cantata in popular style', for children; September 1976.

ff. 224-228. Songs; December 1976. 'The handbag song', 'The filthy dirty song', The America song'.

ff. 229-237. 'Songs for “Kaleidoscope”'; December 1976. Sketches and draft of 'The Queen's song', typescript lyrics only of a song with first words, 'Marcellus writes a book'.

ff. 238-242. 'Canzonet', for male voices, words by D. B. Wyndham Lewis; September 1978. Photocopy of manuscript, as published by Novello.

ff. 243- Songs for 'Stop the Week'; 1984. 'Where are the old songs?' and 'Pools winner', with sketches for 'Marcellus Songs' and 'New Year Song'.

ff. 253-261. 'Dust', for voice and strings, words by Elizabeth Jennings; 1987. Full score.

ff. 262-270. 'French Trio', based on 'Il était une bergère', for three voices and instrumental ensemble; 1987?. Full score.

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