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Joseph Horovitz

Publisher: Novello & Co

Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo (1970)
Work Notes
This work received the 1976 PRS Ivor Novello Award for the best British work for children.
Text Writer
Michael Flanders
Novello & Co Ltd
Chorus a cappella / Chorus plus 1 instrument
Year Composed
26 Minutes
Unison voices or male lead & SATB

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Programme Note
Joseph Horovitz Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo (1970)
Captain Noah and his floating zoo was written and composed towards the end of 1970. It is the first collaboration of Flanders and Horovitz although they had known each other for many years. The work is a lighthearted oratorio on the old Noah subject and both authors insist that it is not to be taken as a contribution to 'pop-religion'. It has been performed in many different versions and adaptations. Although primarily intended to be sung in schools, in unison or two parts, another version has been prepared by the composer for one soloist, with a large chorus; the usual accompaniment for jazz trio has been retained, and the soloist is the voice of God, the narrator and several other characters as well. The musical style of the cantata is unashamedly eclectic and exploits all well-known types of popular music to tell this ever-green story.

© 1972 Joseph Horovitz

  • Ensemble
    King's Singers
    Dutton Vocalion:
Joseph Horovitz's Captain Noah and His Floating Zoo is an established favourite wherever and however it is performed. Last year a Festival fringe company did it in costume. The King's Singers gave it a concert performance in a special arrangement with the composer playing the piano. Drums and string bass make up the rest of the ensemble. The immensely witty and skillful libretto by Michael Flanders makes it a sure fire winner.
Kenneth Dommett, The Birmingham Post,12/07/1978
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