Lydia Kakabadse: The Mermaid – for narrator, mezzo-soprano and ensemble (NXP077)
This is a sheet music edition of The Mermaid by the composer Lydia Kakabadse.
Sheet music for narrator, mezzo-soprano and ensemble
(violin, viola, cello, double bass, piano)
Duration: 12 minutes
Score: 45 pages
Parts: 26 pages
Please note: The narrator, mezzo-soprano and pianist perform from the score. The parts are for violin, viola, cello and double bass.
Please order scores accordingly.
Preface and programme notes
The Mermaid was inspired by mythology and the concept of a narrator in a musical drama. Adapted in 2005 from one of my early compositions, the work has been performed at several venues including Ely Cathedral (premiered April 2006), St John’s Smith Square, London and Norwich Cathedral. The Mermaid has been recorded on the Naxos label and is included in my album The Phantom Listeners.
I Enchanting Times
Persephone, a mermaid who sings exquisitely, is much loved by her fellow sea creatures (her “cherubs of the sea”). The first of her two songs (the “Mermaid’s Song”), which is initially heard on the cello, features the piano’s extensive use of arpeggios portraying the cascading waves. The second song (the “Calling Song”) is sung by Persephone whenever she wishes to call her cherubs to her. The scene ends with a sense of foreboding as the double bass plays a variation of the Calling Song in its higher register.
II Danger Lurks
An ominous basso ostinato, played lento, heralds Persephone’s capture by pirates. As the pirates sail away with Persephone imprisoned and languishing in their boat, the Mermaid’s Song (played sempre tempo rubato) is restated in an ornately varied form by each of the viola, cello and violin. Persephone desperately tries to call her cherubs to her as she falteringly sings her Calling Song. Again, there is a sense of foreboding as the pirates’ boat takes Persephone evermore further from her beloved cherubs.
III Cherubs to the Rescue
The cherubs are led to the pirates’ boat by Persephone’s enchanting Calling Song. With lightning speed, they manage to overthrow the pirates and skilfully set about rescuing Persephone. The pressing urgency of their rescue mission is represented by the fast chromatic playing of the violin and viola, a 4th apart. Fully recovered from her ordeal, a joyous Persephone hums the Mermaid’s Song, which the violin then takes up, all the while accompanied by the soft, gentle rippling effect of the piano.