Skip to main content
Boosey and Hawkes

Boosey and Hawkes Cantata misericordium, Op. 69 (1963) Vocal Score Vocal Score Composed by Benjamin Britten

SKU #K44508000000000
Add To Wish List
26.95 $26.95
Loyalty Points Icon Inventory Msg Check Mark Inventory Msg Exclamation In Checkout Promo Inventory Msg Download Icon
In Stock & Ready to Ship
This item ships directly from our vendor and may take additional processing time
  • Free Shipping
  • Lowest Price
  • Ships Internationally
Chevron Right Icon
Overview
for tenor and baritone solos, small chorus and string quartet, string orchestra, piano, harp and timpani. Text: In Latin by Patrick Wilkinson Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes Difficulty level: 4 (chorus parts) This work is a different as chalk from cheese from the Cantata academica. Here is a searingly beautiful work which presses all Britten's sympathetic buttons. It was composed for the centenary of the Red Cross and first performed in Geneva on 1 September 1963 conducted by Ernest Ansermet. Britten worked with his librettist, Patrick Wilkinson, to create a dramatic scena around the parable of the Good Samaritan. How appropriate this was for the organisation whose work it was intended to celebrate. Wilkinson set it in Latin, giving the Cantata a timeless sense of the universality of the message the parable conveys. Britten's scoring further emphasises the intimacy of the work which has echoes of Saint Nicolas and the Ceremony of Carols in its use of the harp and piano. The separate string quartet, however, is the truly personal touch giving that powerful sense of looking in on a private conversation. The quartet begins the work with a contrapuntal figure which returns at key moments as a refrain or as a joining passage marking the arrival of a new potential source of help to the wounded man, and again at the end. This is a work which barely raises its voice. The emphasis is on compassion and not on the violence done to the traveller who was so badly injured and so callously ignored by the priest and the Levite who passed by. This Cantata immediately followed the composition of the War Requiem, and Owen's pity and waste of war is at the heart of this new work which could have painted a very different picture of righteous indignation or the fighting which would leave the traveller broken by the wayside. The end of the work also has strong resonance with the War Requiem when the Samaritan has taken the traveller to recover in a local inn and says: 'sleep now, my friend, sleep: forget your injuries.' Britten has achieved a remarkable effect in this work. It leaves an indelible impression on its listeners and, like all stories designed to demonstrate a moral, sends one away intent on being a better person. The choral parts of the Cantata misericordium are quite challenging, though not in the league of Sacred and Profane or A Boy was Born. What is essential in performing this work, however, is that the choral parts should be so well sung that the gentle nature of the whole work is not disturbed by obviously problematic passages for choir. The whole concentration should be on the message, as Britten intended. It is the moral of the tale and not its means of communication which is paramount. Duration: 20 minutes Paul Spicer, Lichfield, 2011
Q&A

Questions & Answers

Do you have questions about this product?

Shop with a Friend
Free Shipping
  • Free Standard Ground shipping (48 contiguous states, some overweight and Used/Vintage items excluded).
  • Orders placed before 3 p.m. ET usually ship the same business day.
Learn More
2-Year Free Warranty on Guitars

Every guitar or bass you purchase from Musician's Friend (electric or acoustic, New or Open Box) includes two years of protection from manufacturer defects.

Contact Us for Details
We're Here for You

Our Gear Advisers are available to guide you through your entire shopping experience. Call or Chat for expert advice and to hear the latest deals.

Contact Us
gear adviser
Want to customize your own bundle?
Our Gear Advisers are ready to help.
Our contact center is currently closed.
Request a Callback
Proactive Advisor Support Chat