O, Death, Rock Me Asleep

This poem of Anne Boleyn was obviously written in the Tower of London as she awaited her eventual execution. In this work the soprano is Anne Boleyn; the violin, Death. The melodies and harmonies are modal, starting with Dorian and moving through the darker modes until the final stanza is in Locrian. Death as portrayed by the violin is at times sensuous; other times, menacing. Anne’s moods range from a defiant declaration of her innocence to a joyous thought of past pleasures to a gradual acceptance of the coming of death.

Length8 minutes and 57 seconds
InstrumentationSoprano and Solo Violin

Item #V-007

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