Ian Wilson (b.1964) - Humpty Dumpty (world premiere)

Recorded live on 18th March 2010. Duration 27 minutes

Music by Ian Wilson (b.1964)
Libretto by Brian Leyden

Humpty Dumpty is a piece of music theatre for two singers, clarinet and percussion, to a libretto by the Irish writer Brian Leyden. It began with the question 'How could the story of Humpty Dumpty and his fall be re-interpreted?' and ended up with the setting of an annual singing competition in which tenor Don Dumpty, who has been the champion for years, is finally undone by his own hubris and the skill of a young challenger. The competition puts each singer through their paces by demanding that they sing in different styles, battling it out with skill and stamina. The two musicians provide a colourful harmonic support as well as occasionally doubling as a chorus.

Part morality play, Humpty Dumpty is also part investigation of various styles of singing, from quasi-Baroque to modern. The work is generally light in tone, meant to be a divertissement, and refers back to such works as Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat, at least in its sense of portability.

Ian Wilson, who was born in Belfast, has written over 80 pieces including two chamber operas, concertos for organ, cello, alto saxophone, violin (three), marimba and piano, orchestral pieces, eight string quartets and many other chamber, vocal and multi-media works. His music has been performed and broadcast on six continents by a range of major artists and organisations and at leading international festivals.

Jane Harrington soprano
Ashley Catling tenor
Elaine Tyler-Hall director
Aaron Marsden designer
Marc Rosette lighting designer

Dov Goldberg clarinet
Tim Williams percussion

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