Photo: Unicorn-Kanchana Records
Maxwell Davies, Peter
Miss Donnithorne's Maggot (1974)Duration: 32 minutes
Music-theatre work for mezzo-soprano and ensemble
Text by Randolph Stow (E,F,G)
fl(=picc,afl).cl-perc(1):2susp.cym/BD/tpl.bl/4wdbl/tam-t/ football rattle/SD/bell tree/BD and cym with foot pedal/sandpaper/ glass wind chimes/police whistle/bosun's whistle/chamois leather rubbed on glass/balloon to pop/thunder sheet(tam-t)/glsp/marimba/crot -pft(=balloon)-vln.vlc-4metronomes set in motion by the players
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.
Town Hall, Adelaide
Mary Thomas, mezzo-soprano
Conductor: Peter Maxwell Davies
Company: The Fires of London
Miss Donnithorne was an Australian lady, apparently one of the models for Miss Havisham in Dickens's Great Expectations; jilted at the last minute, she became a recluse, and the piece discovers her ranting among the remnants of her wedding cake, which is decorated with instrumentalists. Like Maxwell Davies's mad king, she has eight songs, though the fifth is a nocturne-interlude sung for her by the alto flute. Also as in the earlier work, the solo part is a tour de force of vocal effects, requiring a range of three octaves, though Miss Donnithorne is generally more songful in her madness than George III. The temperature of the ensemble music is also a little lower, more controlled, perhaps more lady-like, if still expecting wildly brilliant execution.
Contemporary, History, Relationships, Literary
Mary Thomas, The Fires of London, Peter Maxwell Davies