To Sleep (Geoff Allan)

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  • (Posted 2017-01-14)  CPDL #42642:    (MIDI) MP3s:Network.png   (NWC)
Editor: Geoff Allan (submitted 2017-01-14).   Score information: A4, 54 pages, 4.96 MB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Edition freely available for copying and performance. Please let the author know if you are performing the work. Please send me a recording after your performnce, I would love to hear it. (You could always invite me to the performance too). If you like or dislike the music, let me know. NWC file is zipped.

General Information

Title: To Sleep
Composer: Geoff Allan
Lyricist: William Shakespeare

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularCantata

Language: English
Instruments: Piano

First published: 2017
Description: A choral suite/cantata setting some of Shakespeare's words concerning sleep. The suite has 8 movements, the first and last being identical. The work is set for SATB choir, SATB solos (preferably taken from the choir) and piano accompaniment. The suite begins and ends with a distorted Westminster chime (as if heard while falling asleep) and the words from "The Tempest" .. "We are such stuff as dreams are made on and our little life is rounded with a sleep". The linked mp3 files are performed by a sampled choir, "Voices of Prague" and the composer singing the solos (sometimes in the wrong octave). This should give the listener some idea of the work. These will be replaced by "real" recordings as soon as possible.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

To Sleep
Words : William Shakespeare

Piano clock (almost Westminster) and chimes while voices enter
Frame - We are such stuff

We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
The Tempest

Sleep No More

Sleep no more,
The innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleeve of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.
Sleep no more!

To die: to sleep

To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
Solo Tenor For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
Solo Tenor and Chorus When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause.
To die: to sleep;
No more;

Weary with toil

Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
But then begins a journey in my head
To work my mind, when body’s work’s expir’d:
For then my thoughts—from far where I abide
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,f
Looking on darkness which the blind do see:
Save that Solo Soprano my soul’s imaginary sight
Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,
Makes black night beauteous and her old face new. Lo!
Chorus Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,
Solo Sop. and Chorus For thee, and for myself no quiet find.
Sonnet 27

O sleep, O gentle sleep

O sleep, O gentle sleep,
Solo Contralto with chorus Nature's soft nurse, how have I frightened thee,
That thou no more will weigh my eyelids down,
Chorus And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Canst thou, O partial sleep, give thy repose
In an hour so rude; slower again
Solo Tenor with chorus And in the calmest and most stillest night,
Deny it to a king? Chorus and both soloists Then, happy low, lie down!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
Henry IV Part II

Be not afeard
Chorus Noises
Vrekekekex koax koax (Aristophanes frogs) eo ticun, ter ter teo,(Jannequin) weeoo weeoo weeoo weeoo (Cicada)

Solo Baritone (Caliban) Be not afeard: the isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight, and hurt not.
Chorus Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears; and sometime voices,
That, if I then had wak’d after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
Solo Baritone (Caliban) with chorusThe clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me; that, when I wak’d
I cried to dream again.
The Tempest

Good Night, Good Night

Good night, good night! parting is such sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night till it be morrow.
Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy breast!
Would I were sleep and peace, so sweet to rest!
Romeo and Juliet

Frame - We are such stuff

We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
The Tempest