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Incidental music to Electra (Preview)

  • Text
  • Electra
  • Music
  • Williams
by Ralph Vaughan Williams | Orchestra and chorus

The present edition is

The present edition is based on a reading of the complete and legible orchestral parts (A) with the addition of the incomplete full score (D). Chorus parts (B) and vocal short scores (C) were used where the full score was incomplete or unclear. The chorus parts (B) only begin from their entry at m.60 but are otherwise complete. Some of these chorus part copies are possibly not in the composer’s hand and have been disregarded by the editor in any decision making. There is no bassoon part extant in A. Where D is written out in full, a staff for bassoon is shown occasionally. However, it is mostly blank only having notes written in ink on a few pages. At m.178 and m.217 in pencil it reads Fag col Bassi and the following bars include ditto marks and a few pencilled notes. It was judged by the editor that there is insufficient evidence that a unique bassoon part did exist and the bassoon has been excluded from this edition. Notation of rhythms has been silently altered to conform with modern convention. Fermatas have been added to all parts when appearing in only one staff. The editor has added a tempo markings, time signatures and rehearsal marks as required. Occasional expression and articulation inconsistencies have been discreetly amended by the editor and only notable changes or conflicts are listed below. 92 There is a word conflict between the RVW manuscripts and the text source for the line beginning “Or bend”. In B, C and D this line reads “Or bend thy haters low?”. Source texts for this translation read “Or bend thine haters low”. This section is sourced from D and correlates with B. Interestingly, C has different pitches suggesting that revisions were made after the compilation of the short score. The editor has chosen to retain RVW’s inked text and use “thy”. 119 Clarinet. The part, A, is missing a bar near the beginning of the second scene. Counting backwards from the following key change confirms there is a bar missing. C and D both show there is a missing rest bar at the end of the sixth measure of this scene. Pencilled in the part there is a ‘1’ and an extra barline added at the end of the first stave, likely added by a player to correct the error. 150 Flute and Voice. A, D, and two chorus parts from B show that this bar has five beats. Three different chorus parts show the note duration for “star” as a dotted quaver, but with no semiquaver to pair with it leaves the bar with 4 1/4 beats which is unlikely in the context. One of the pages in C shows quavers for both “star” and “of” giving the bar 4 beats, but the pitches used in this differ from the other sources suggesting it is just a sketch. 183 Viola. A and D show the last pitch as AÏ, however this is likely an error by RVW and the editor has corrected it to match Violin II, Oboe, and Cello playing Aˆ. 189 Clarinet. A and D show written pitches GÍ/FÍ, however this is likely an error by RVW with Violin II sounding Fˆ/EÏ. The editor has corrected the Clarinet to written Gˆ/Fˆ. 201 Horn. A and D show written FÍ on beat 3, however this is likely an error by RVW with Viola sounding a BÏ. The editor has corrected the Horn to written Fˆ. PEV03 – viii

Additional research during the preparation of this edition has led to a few differences between this score and the recording (ALBCD033) but this edition should be considered the definitive version. Oddly included within the orchestral parts, on the back of the Violin II part, is a setting of I Vow to Thee, My Country for voice and piano. Initial research into this suggests that this was penned much later than the rest of the material in this folio. Performance note The solo passages may be divided among the members of the chorus according to the compass and nature of the voices. PEV03 – ix

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Electra Incidental Music Vaughan Williams