Nurse's Songs

Score title

Nurse's Songs


Thea Musgrave

More about the composer



Program note

Dedicated to the memory of Richard Rodney Bennett.

What captivated me was the contrast between the innocence and indeed the experience of the Nurse in these two poems. I therefore chose a soprano soloist to portray the "innocent” Nurse and an alto for the "experienced” nurse.

What is also important is the dialogue between the two Nurses and the children. In the second song the "experienced" Nurse carries the whole of the second verse. So, in order to give the children a presence I "borrowed” some lines from the first poem for the children to sing: "We cannot go to sleep”. It is like an echo ("and all the hills echoed”) from the end of the first poem.