SEA FEVER

Baritone and piano (2007)


Commissioned by baritone Jeremy Jennings, Sea Fever is a setting of four John Masefield poems from his collection Salt Water Ballads (1902). The cycle portrays different moods of the ocean, with an often deceptive irregularity.


The first of the cycle, “An old song resung,” is a rollicking sea-chantey in which pirates and merchants alike are engulfed in the indifferent justice of the ocean. “Christmas Eve at Sea” recalls the eerie calm and magical silence of the ocean at night and portrays complete loneliness and yet utter one-ness with the universe. The title piece of the cycle, “Sea Fever”, illustrates the compulsive draw of the ocean in the tension between the lulling triplet division and the stubborn duplet division of the beat. The final song, "Mother Carey", is a terrifying, tongue-twisting tribute to Mother Carey, the fearsome sea-witch wife of Davy Jones.


To download a sample page from the score or listen to a recording, please see the links on the left.


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