A Litany

A Litany : Upper voice vocal score

  • Sheet music
By (composer) 

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for four upper voices, unaccompanied
Off-printed from the complete William Walton Edition, this is one of three versions (the others are for SATB unaccompanied) on a text by Phineas Fletcher - 'Drop, drop slow tears'. The poignant chromatic harmonies and expressive melodic lines are a remarkably adventurous achievement for a fourteen-year-old Walton.
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Product details

  • Sheet music | 8 pages
  • 175 x 223mm | 2,721.54g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 0193407426
  • 9780193407428

Review quote

Fourteen-year-old William Walton composed three versions of his setting of Phineas Fletcher's poem Drop, Slow Tears and this version for treble voices is apparently the first . . . Some of the revoicing of chords necessiated by the smaller range creates luminous effects. For choirs able to navigate the tonal challenges, this may become the preferred setting. * Jason Overall, Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians, May 2015 * Walton was 14 when he wrote his first version of A Litany ('Drop, drop, slow tears') for upper voices, subsequently reworked twice for SATB. A comparison between these first thoughts and the published SATB version is fascinating: there were re-barrings that alter the position of stresses and several places in the later version where rests were removed or the duration of chords shortened to tighten the music. At the start, the first version has two extra
falling-third 'drops'. But this upper-voice version still has the distinctive poignancy of the well-known SATB one, from those opening falling phrases, through the dramatic 'cry for vengeance' to the final, repeated 'my tears'. * James L. Montgomery, Sunday by Sunday (RSCM), June 15 *
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About William Walton

Sir William Walton was born in Oldham, Lancashire in 1902, the son of a choirmaster and a singing-teacher. He became a chorister at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, and then an undergraduate at the University. His first composition to attract attention was a piano quartet written at the age of sixteen. At Oxford he made the acquaintance of the Sitwells who gave him friendship, moral and financial support and in 1922 he collaborated with Edith in devising the
entertainment Facade. Less than ten years later, Osbert prepared the text of another masterwork, Belshazzar's Feast. From 1922 to 1927 Walton began to spend an increasing amount of time abroad, notably in Switzerland and Italy. The war years were devoted mainly to writing film and ballet scores and he became
established as amongst the greatest composers for the screen.
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