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O Hototogisu!, Sheet music Book


O Hototogisu! is presented here as a typeset score with two facsimile pages from the composer's manuscript. This exquisite 'fragment of a Japonisme' - premiered in 2017 and conceived as a kind of double concerto for soprano, flute and ensemble of 23 players - proved to be Oliver Knussen's final work.

The 8-minute piece couches seven exquisite haiku settings in richly evocative music which incorporates signals from Japanese theatre (particularly Kabuki).

It concerns the Hototogisu (or Lesser Cuckoo), a bird widely invoked in Japanese haiku poetry of the 17th-19th centuries, where the poet listens for its arrival from the mountains both as a harbinger of summer and a voice from the land of the dead.




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