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Thea Musgrave

Publisher: Novello & Co

Song of the Enchanter (1990)
commissioned by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra to honour the 125th anniversary of Sibelius's birth
Work Notes
In homage to Sibelius
Novello & Co Ltd
Sub Category
Large Orchestra
Year Composed
5 Minutes
Programme Note
Thea Musgrave Song of the Enchanter (1990)

This short work, written in the winter and spring of 1990, was commissioned by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra to honour the 125th anniversary of Sibelius' birth.
It is based on an episode from the Kalevala, the great Finnish epic, where Väinämäinen, the hero-God, has fashioned a magical five-stringed instrument from the bones of a giant pike. Orpheus-like, he plays upon it and enchants the people. All listen and all weep, their hearts melted. Even Väinämäinen weeps and his tears 'bigger than cranberries' fall into the clear waters of the deep blue sea. A sea bird dives down to retrieve his tears - they have ripened into pearls.

Song of the Enchanter was first performed on the 14th February 1991 by the Helsinki Philharmonic, conducted by James Loughran.

  • Ensemble
    Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
    Sergiu Comissiona
  • 13 APR 2019
    Church of the Epiphany, Washington DC, USA
    Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic

    Other Dates:
    14 April - GW Masonic Temple, Alexandria, USA
  • 29 SEP 2018
    Old Cabell Hall, Charlottesville, VA
    Charlottesville Symphony
    Benjamin Rous, conductor

    Other Dates:
    30 September - Marin Luther King Jr. Performing Arts Center, Charlottesville, VA
  • 15 JUN 2018
    City Halls, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
    BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
    Nicholas Daniel, oboe; Evelyn Glennie, percussion; Jac van Steen, conductor
  • 20 MAR 2018
    Song of the Enchanter Country Premiere
    Le Tambour, Rennes, France
    Ensemble Sonopsie
    Patrick Otto, conductor

    Other Dates:
    18 May - Ploërmel, France
  • 25 FEB 2018
    Music Across Borders New Music Festival
    Meng Concert Hall, Fullerton, CA
    California State University - Fullerton Orchestra
    Kimo Furumoto, conductor
  • 02 FEB 2018
    In Focus: Thea Musgrave
    Media City UK, Salford, UK
    BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
    Clark Rundell, conductor
  • 28 FEB 2017
    Neu Chapel Evansville, USA
    University of Evansville
    Chun-Ming Chen, conductor
  • 28 OCT 2010
    Michigan, US
    Central Michigan University Symphony Orchestra
    Antonia Joy Wilson, conductor
  • 22 JAN 2009
    City Halls, Glasgow, Scotland
    BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
    John Storgårds, conductor
  • 20 JUN 2008
    City Halls, Glasgow
    BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
    James Grossmith, conductor
  • 20 JUN 2008
    City Halls, Glasgow, Scotland
    James Grossmith / John Storgårds, conductor

    Other Dates:
    22 January 2009 - City Hall, Glasgow, UK
  • 27 MAR 1999
    Tyler, Texas, US
    East Texas Symphony Orchestra
  • 01 JUN 1992
    Grosses Festspielhaus, Salzburg
    Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
    Okko Kamu, conductor

    Other Dates:
    3 June - Konzerthaus, Vienna
  • 08 MAR 1991
    Edinburgh, UK
    Scottish National Orchestra
    James Loughran, conductor

    Other Dates:
    9 March - Glasgow, Scotland, UK
  • 14 FEB 1991
    Helsinki, Finland
    Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
    James Loughran, conductor

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