Voices O'er the Waves

The Consort of Melbourne.jpg


An homage to a long and varied tradition of water songs

One of the prerequisites for any successful community is easy access to water and, often, the sites where our largest cities have sprung up have been in close proximity to large bodies of it, such as rivers, lakes and seas. It is no surprise that musical cultures around the world have entire genres devoted to our relationship with water – from British sea shanties to songs of the Venetian gondoliers. In Voices o’er the Waves The Consort of Melbourne pays homage to a long and varied tradition of water songs, from ancient Gregorian chant to Veljo Tormis’ powerful Incantation for a stormy sea.

Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes;
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.

- From The Tempest by William Shakespeare (1564-1616), featured in Vaughan Williams’ Full Fathom Five

Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre and The Consort of Melbourne


Voices O’er the Waves

Anonymous chant (c.1200) & Jonathan Wallis
Ave maris stella

Tomás Luis de Victoria
Super flumina Babylonis

Veljo Tormis
Incantation for a Stormy Sea

Claudio Monteverdi
Ecco mormorar l’onde

Dan Walker

Frederick Delius
To be sung of a summer night on the water

Frank Martin
Full fathom five

Orlande de Lassus
Descendit sicut pluvia

Per Nørgård
I hear the rain

Samuel Barber
To be sung on the water