= Sonnances – Book 1 – Nigel Morgan

Sonnances – Book 1

for medium voice and piano

This is the first book of three collections of songs under the titleSonnances composed between 1972-4.


Book 1 – (for medium voice and piano) consists of 3 sections: Treeless LeafSavoyardeHeptagos.

Book 2 – (for medium voice, harp and violoncello) is in 5 sections:

NologueKarakonSafranVerba fiant mortuoPèlerinage.

Book 3 – (for 2 medium voices – male and female, piano, harp and violoncello) features a single poem:

The miniature poems of book 1 are wistful, delicate, and very often ambiguous. In book 2 the poems are somewhat longer: one intensely dramatic, another a pastoral, several have quasi-narrative structures. Book 3 consists of one extended poem realised for two voices and instrumental trio. The intention lying behind the three collections was to render into a musical score an open field of possibilities for performers’ interpretations. The musical settings are the stuff of a youthful ambition: to establish within the tradition of the art song a transparency and clarity of texture, and a productive independence between voice and accompaniment. The first performance of Sonnances Book 1 was given by the contralto Carol Leatherby and pianist Gary Peacock in June 1976.

Savoyarde is like a musical holiday postcard from the lakeside spa of Thonon Les Bains. There are in all five poems set to music, two for voice and piano, three for piano solo.



Sonnances Book 1 [pdf]