Songs of the Cotton Grass (Performance Score)-OB/VOICE
Composer: Tann, Hilary
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Songs of the Cotton Grass
for oboe and soprano
by Hilary Tann (b 1947)- Welsh composer based in the United States
The cycle Songs of the Cotton Grass evolved over six years. For texts of each of the four songs, Tann collaborated with Welsh poet Menna Elfyn. Three of the pieces recall the open, high moorland of South Wales and are "reverse lullabies" where the daughter lulls the mother to sleep. Slave's Song, placed second, is an optional fast movement which takes the cotton grass image to the plantations of the American South.
The first song, A Girl's Song to Her Mother, was originally written for mezzo-soprano Mari Morgan and premiered on July 30, 1999 during a Celtic Weekend at the Pan-American Games in Winnipeg. The third song, Wings of the Grasses, was composed in March 2003 for "A Garland for Presteigne", a compilation of ten songs celebrating the 21st anniversary of the Presteigne Festival in Wales. In 2004 the Girl's Song was slightly revised for soprano Janeanne Houston who recorded the two completed songs and commissioned Slave's Song and Vale of Feathers.