Op. 32 – Mary

Baritone with String Quartet

  • Op. 32 – Mary score page PDFOp. 32 – Mary score page 1
  • Words: William Blake
  • Composed: 1999
  • Time: ca. 13 minutes

  • Price: score and parts – $40.00
  • Price: piano/vocal – $25.00
  1. Sweet Mary
  2. Soft Beauty
  3. Some Said...
  4. Cover
  5. Gone Mad!
  6. Faces

Mary was written with the expectation that it would share a program with Barber’s Dover Beach. The poem, not one of Blake’s better known ones, deals with the social ostracism of the exceptionally gifted. Mary is envied for her remarkable beauty. Even in the first two songs, primarily devoted to depicting this beauty in swaying dance rhythms, the motive of envy can be heard in the background. The third song, Some said... uses the inverted form of the 5-29 chord to express Mary’s anguish. In the fourth song, Cover, she tries to conform, and the conventional tonality (including even a key signature) reflects her new, corseted and repressed image. This hardly helps her, as is shown in the violent music of the fifth song, Gone Mad!. The final song, Faces shows that she has gained inner strength from the experience, though at the cost of a deep and abiding pain.