Widow's Songs (2004) consist of three settings of poems by Cilla McQueen, taken from her cycle of poems called Rope. The poems describe the thoughts and feelings of a woman grieving for her dead husband. In the process, surrounding images and activities seem to take on extra meaning, for example making bread becomes too difficult to do because of the memories it stirs. The style of the songs is intimate and aims to exploit the beauty of the voice to evoke feelings.
Suitable for adult and advanced youth choirs.
Widow's Song is one of several works by Ritchie inspired by Cilla McQueen's poems, including an opera called The Trapeze Artists and the well-known song Dogwobble.
Widow's Songs were commissioned by Tower NZ Youth Choir, for performance by the a capella chamber choir Tower Voices New Zealand. The premiere performance was in the Otago Arts Festival, October 2004.
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