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Anne Dudley One Touch of Nature UV version

for soprano and alto solo, SSAA, and piano or strings The title of this life-affirming six-movement work comes from Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida: 'One touch of nature makes the whole world kin'. Through a compilation of texts by writers such as Algernon Charles Swinburne, Bessie Rayner Parkes, Rabindranath Tagore, and John Burroughs, the piece explores our fractured relationship with the natural world and nature's powerful ability to renew itself. Dudley crafts a compelling dialogue between the characterful choral parts and the highly expressive string writing, creating a rich and powerful narrative around this important subject. Listeners can revel in a sumptuous soundworld while finding a reflective space to consider their own relationship with the natural world, before the soprano soloist draws the work to a close by inviting us to wonder 'How far are we from home?

for soprano and alto solo, SSAA, and piano or strings
The title of this life-affirming six-movement work comes from Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida: 'One touch of nature makes the whole world kin'. Through a compilation of texts by writers such as Algernon Charles Swinburne, Bessie Rayner Parkes, Rabindranath Tagore, and John Burroughs, the piece explores our fractured relationship with the natural world and nature's powerful ability to renew itself. Dudley crafts a compelling dialogue between the characterful choral parts and the highly expressive string writing, creating a rich and powerful narrative around this important subject. Listeners can revel in a sumptuous soundworld while finding a reflective space to consider their own relationship with the natural world, before the soprano soloist draws the work to a close by inviting us to wonder 'How far are we from home?

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NEW<br />

HORIZONS<br />

secular | s. and a. solos, ssaa | piano or strings<br />

<strong>Anne</strong> <strong>Dudley</strong><br />

one touch <strong>of</strong> nature<br />

ssaa vocal score


for online perusal only<br />

<strong>Anne</strong> <strong>Dudley</strong><br />

one touch <strong>of</strong> nature<br />

s. and a. solos, ssaa | piano or strings<br />

VOCAL SCORE


Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP,<br />

United Kingdom<br />

Oxford University Press is a department <strong>of</strong> the University <strong>of</strong> Oxford.<br />

It furthers the University’s objective <strong>of</strong> excellence in research, scholarship,<br />

and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford is a registered trade mark <strong>of</strong><br />

Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries<br />

© Oxford University Press 2024<br />

<strong>Anne</strong> <strong>Dudley</strong> has asserted her right under the Copyright, Designs<br />

and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as the Composer <strong>of</strong> this Work<br />

First published 2024<br />

Impression: 1<br />

All rights reserved. No part <strong>of</strong> this publication may be reproduced,<br />

stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means,<br />

without the prior permission in writing <strong>of</strong> Oxford University Press<br />

Permission to perform this work in public (except in the course <strong>of</strong> divine worship)<br />

should normally be obtained from a local performing right licensing organization,<br />

unless the owner or the occupier <strong>of</strong> the premises being used already holds<br />

a licence from such an organization. Likewise, permission to make and<br />

exploit a recording <strong>of</strong> this work should be obtained from a<br />

local mechanical copyright licensing organization<br />

Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope <strong>of</strong> the above<br />

should be directed to the Music Rights Department, Oxford University Press,<br />

at music.permissions.uk@oup.com or at the address above<br />

ISBN 978–0–19–357070–2<br />

Music origination by Andrew Jones<br />

Text origination by Katie Johnston<br />

Printed in Great Britain on acid-free paper by<br />

Halstan & Co. Ltd, Amersham, Bucks.<br />

for online perusal only


Contents<br />

Composer’s note<br />

Texts<br />

iv<br />

v<br />

1. No birds sing 1<br />

2. No light is in heaven 13<br />

3. Is the time not come yet? 19<br />

4. Rise up, my fair one, and come away 28<br />

5. My senses put in order 34<br />

6. How far are we from home? 41<br />

for online perusal only<br />

Instrumentation<br />

Strings<br />

Full scores and instrumental parts are available on hire/rental.<br />

If required, the work may also be accompanied by piano, playing from the vocal score.<br />

This work is also available in a <strong>version</strong> for S. and A. solos, SSATB, and piano or strings<br />

(ISBN 978–0–19–357068–9). The string accompaniment is compatible with both <strong>version</strong>s.<br />

Duration: c.25 minutes


Composer’s note<br />

The work’s title comes from Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida—‘<strong>One</strong> touch <strong>of</strong> nature makes the<br />

whole world kin.’ There are two main themes in this piece: our fractured relationship with the<br />

natural world and nature’s powerful ability to renew itself.<br />

<strong>Nature</strong>, given the chance, can effect remarkable transformation <strong>of</strong> a degraded landscape and restore<br />

ecological balance. We have seen examples <strong>of</strong> this in the many ‘re-wilding’ projects that have<br />

occurred in recent years and, indeed, in the coming <strong>of</strong> spring which, each year, transforms a bleak<br />

world into one teeming with life. This natural renewal has inspired poets for centuries.<br />

The work’s opening lines—‘The sedge is withered from the lake, And no birds sing’—is from<br />

John Keats’ famous poem La Belle Dame sans Merci. An empty, apparently dead landscape is evoked.<br />

This theme is continued in A. C. Swinburne’s By the North Sea where, with remarkable foresight,<br />

the poet rails against the ‘dumb waste world’. This dark feeling continues in movement two,<br />

‘No light is in heaven’, depicting a world where a brief period <strong>of</strong> daylight is swiftly overcome by<br />

night. A familiar feeling to those <strong>of</strong> us who experience winter in Northern climes.<br />

for online perusal only<br />

In researching texts for this piece I came across the work <strong>of</strong> John Burroughs (1837–1921),<br />

a pioneering US naturalist and essay writer. He recognised the importance <strong>of</strong> man’s connection<br />

with nature and felt that, in our mainly urban society, we had lost touch with the wildness <strong>of</strong> the<br />

natural world, and in so doing had lost an important part <strong>of</strong> our souls. His dying words were<br />

‘How far are we from home?’—a poignant enough question in many circumstances. This forms the<br />

basis <strong>of</strong> the text for the next section <strong>of</strong> the piece. The questions continue in the poem Sail Away<br />

by Rabindranath Tagore, which asks ‘Is the time not come yet? Are there works still to do?’.<br />

The coming <strong>of</strong> spring is celebrated in the fourth movement with the joyful words ‘rise up, my fair<br />

one, and come away, for the winter is past and the rains are over’, from the Song <strong>of</strong> Solomon. I then<br />

return to the words <strong>of</strong> John Burroughs: ‘I go to nature to have my senses put in order’.<br />

Lord Byron’s famous poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage perfectly captures the exhilaration <strong>of</strong><br />

connecting with a wild landscape: ‘There is pleasure in the pathless woods, There is rapture on<br />

the lonely shore.’ A sense <strong>of</strong> oneness with nature carries through to the work’s final section. Tagore<br />

describes taking a boat on a voyage with no particular purpose, simply to be at one with the sea<br />

‘in that shoreless ocean.’<br />

The piece ends with a reprise <strong>of</strong> the questions, finally asking again ‘How far are we from home?’.<br />

This note may be reproduced as required for programme notes.<br />

iv


Texts<br />

1. No birds sing<br />

The sedge is withered from the lake.<br />

And no birds sing. (‘La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad’, John Keats (1795–1821), adap.)<br />

A land that is lonelier than ruin,<br />

A sea that is stranger than death.<br />

Far field that a rose never blew in,<br />

Wan waste where the winds lack breath.<br />

Waste, endless, boundless, and flowerless.<br />

Earth lies exhausted, powerless. (‘By the North Sea’, Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837–1909), adap.)<br />

And the wind’s wings, broken and spent, subside:<br />

In a dumb waste world.<br />

Shadows <strong>of</strong> forgotten dreams abide<br />

In a dumb waste world. (‘Neap-Tide’, Swinburne, adap.)<br />

Far flickers the flight <strong>of</strong> swallows,<br />

Far flutters the weft <strong>of</strong> grass<br />

Spun over the empty hollows,<br />

Pale as the clouds they pass. (‘By the North Sea’, Swinburne, adap.)<br />

for online perusal only<br />

The sedge is withered from the lake.<br />

And no birds sing.<br />

2. No light is in heaven<br />

Now no light is in heaven, and now<br />

Not a note <strong>of</strong> the sea-wind’s tune rings hither.<br />

The bleak sky gives hardly a sight <strong>of</strong> the grey sun’s brow.<br />

The day’s heart cowers and the night’s heart quickens.<br />

Could it be that the day is dead<br />

And the stark night reigns in its stead?<br />

The sea falls dumb as the sea-fog thickens<br />

And the sunset dies.<br />

‘Neap-Tide’, Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837–1909), adap.<br />

3. Is the time not come yet?<br />

How far are we from home? (John Burroughs (1837–1921))<br />

Is the time not come yet?<br />

Are there works still to do?<br />

Lo, the evening has come down.<br />

In the fading light the sea birds come flying to their nests.<br />

(‘Sail Away’, Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941), adap.)<br />

How far are we from home?<br />

v


4. Rise up, my fair one, and come away<br />

Rise up, my fair one, and come away,<br />

For the winter is past and the rains are over.<br />

Flowers appear on the earth,<br />

And the time for singing <strong>of</strong> birds is come.<br />

Now the voice <strong>of</strong> the turtle-dove is heard in this land.<br />

The fig tree with the promise <strong>of</strong> fruit,<br />

The vines with the tender grape give perfume.<br />

The Song <strong>of</strong> Solomon, adap.<br />

5. My senses put in order<br />

I go to nature to have my senses put in order. (John Burroughs (1837–1921))<br />

for online perusal only<br />

There is pleasure in the pathless woods,<br />

There is rapture on the lonely shore.<br />

There is society where none intrudes<br />

By the deep sea, and music in its roar. (‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’, Lord Byron (1788–1824), adap.)<br />

The steadfast coursing <strong>of</strong> the stars,<br />

The waves that ripple to the shore,<br />

The vigorous trees which, year by year,<br />

Spread upwards, more and more. (‘Peace’, Bessie Rayner Parkes (1829–1925))<br />

I go to nature to have my senses put in order.<br />

6. How far are we from home?<br />

Early in the day it was whispered<br />

That we should take a boat,<br />

Only you and me.<br />

And not a soul in all the world<br />

Would know <strong>of</strong> this our pilgrimage<br />

To no country, to no end.<br />

In that shoreless ocean<br />

Melodies, free as waves,<br />

In that shoreless ocean.<br />

Is the time not come yet?<br />

Are there works still to do?<br />

Lo, the evening has come down.<br />

In the fading light the sea birds come flying to their nests.<br />

(‘Sail Away’, Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941), adap.)<br />

How far are we from home? (John Burroughs (1837–1921))<br />

vi


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NH281 one touch <strong>of</strong> nature (ssaa) <strong>Dudley</strong><br />

NEW HORIZONS showcases the wealth <strong>of</strong> exciting, innovative, and occasionally challenging<br />

choral music being written today. It encompasses the whole gamut <strong>of</strong> small-scale choral genres,<br />

both secular and sacred, and includes pieces for upper-voice and mixed choirs. With titles by<br />

some <strong>of</strong> the most accomplished choral composers active in Great Britain and abroad, the series<br />

introduces new repertoire and fresh talent to a broad spectrum <strong>of</strong> choirs.<br />

<strong>Anne</strong> <strong>Dudley</strong><br />

<strong>Anne</strong> <strong>Dudley</strong> is a multi-talented and critically acclaimed composer, arranger, producer, and<br />

performer. She has composed and produced soundtracks for dozens <strong>of</strong> award-winning films<br />

and television shows and was a founding member <strong>of</strong> the groundbreaking electronic group<br />

Art <strong>of</strong> Noise. In 1998 she won an Academy Award for Best Original Music for The Full Monty.<br />

<strong>Anne</strong> was the BBC Concert Orchestra’s first Composer-in Association and in 2017 received<br />

an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music.<br />

ISBN 978-0-19-357070-2<br />

www.oup.com<br />

9 780193 570702

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