Sounds of the Nightingale (Fine, Vivian)

Sheet Music


PDF typeset by Paul Hawkins
rhymesandchymes (2012/5/30)

PDF typeset by Paul Hawkins
rhymesandchymes (2012/5/30)

Publisher. Info. Vivian Fine Estate
Misc. Notes Request Licenses from ASCAP
Report performances to Vivian Fine Estate
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General Information

Work Title Sounds of the Nightingale
Alternative. Title
Composer Fine, Vivian
I-Catalogue NumberI-Cat. No. IVF 70
Year/Date of CompositionY/D of Comp. 1971
First Performance. 1971-05-19, Bennington College, Valerie Lamoree, soprano, Bennington choral and instrumental ensembles, Vivian Fine, conductor
Librettist John Keats and Vivian Fine
Language English and birdsong
Average DurationAvg. Duration 13 3/4 minutes
Composer Time PeriodComp. Period Modern
Piece Style Modern
Instrumentation Soprano, female chorus, flute, alto flute, oboe doubling on English horn, clarinet, bass clarinet, French horn, two violins, two violas, piano, percussion (tuned tom-toms, woodblocks, susp. cymbal, and tissue paper)

Misc. Comments

Sounds of the Nightingale… is a further step in [Fine’s] expansion of timbre and texture. The piece consists of independent layers of birdsong as portrayed by an ensemble of flute, alto flute, oboe doubling on English horn, clarinet, bass clarinet, French horn, piano, percussion (tuned tom-toms, woodblocks, suspended cymbal and tissue paper), two violins, two violas, soprano, and the female chorus. Each birdsong is scored meticulously, with appropriate attacks, dynamic changes, and other nuances, to recreate the sounds she wanted. Differing simultaneous tempi, such as the quarter-note = 66 for the soprano, 54 for the choral group and piano, 80 for the English horn and strings, and 60 for the French horn, create the layering and independence of materials she desired. Strategic entrances are cued by the conductor, and, at times, entrances are numbered in thick textures to ensure the kinds of timbre and tenure mixtures she wanted. Although the birdsongs are not labeled, Fine’s meticulousness resembles that of Messiaen’s in scoring birdsong. Nothing is left to chance, and Fine knew exactly what she wanted to hear in her piece.

—Heidi Von Gunden, The Music of Vivian Fine, Scarecrow Press, 1999