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Gordon Ferries  : Stanzas for Music for voice and Guitar : Bergmann

Gordon Ferries

Bergmann Edition: Score and separate voice part (28 and 12 pages respectively)


With its sub-title of ‘to poems by Shelley, Coleridge, Byron and Keats’ you find here one song for each of the poets, written by Scottish musician Gordon Ferries.

Mutability, by Shelley originally written in 1815 has a singing range of a low C#, a semitone above middle C to an F# an octave and a fourth above. In G Major, it is instantly melodic with a lovely arrangement that has a lovely set of harmonies and a clever guitar part that is not too difficult. Its Andante slows for a few bars to an Adagio towards the close which ends on a question mark of a Dominant 7th chord.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Alas They Had Been Friends in Youth is from 1800 .It is set here in E minor and again has an interesting and very melodic tune with an inventive guitar part that is not too easy, but well worth the effort, as it is more than just an accompaniment, but rather another melody and set of harmonies going in tandem with the singer’s part, which ranges from a D,a tone above middle C to an F# an octave and a third higher.

The title song Stanzas By Music and 1815 piece by Lord Byron is next. It moves through three different speeds in its relatively short duration and again the guitar part is interesting and the voice part lovely and the whole piece is very cleverly done, and tuneful throughout. The range for this one is only an octave from the G a 5th above middle C to the G an octave above that.

The final work is Sonnet on the Sea, of 1817, by John Keats, and begins with 12 bars of a guitar solo before the vocal part enters at bar 13. , this time with a range of a D, a tone above Middle C to the E and octave and a tone above. Again this is a lovely piece of writing, full of emotive harmonies and a nice conclusion to what is a beautiful set of 4 songs that I hope someone decides to take up and perform, because it really is worth a listen!


Chris Dumigan

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