• Britta Byström
  • Another Part of the Wood (2022)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)

Written for Eric Ericsson's Chamber choir

  • SATB
  • SATB
  • 10 min

Programme Note

"Come, now a roundel and a fairy song" - so begins a scene in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" where Titania enters with her small entourage of fairies and asks them to sing her to sleep. The stage directions read "Another Part of the Wood" and refer to the fact that here, in another part of the forest, magical things are happening...

Twice Felix Mendelssohn composed music inspired by A midsummer night's dream – a play filled with mystery, playfulness and fantasy. So I have started from the same play, and just like Mendelssohn tried to capture its special, enchanted atmosphere. There is also a small quote from Mendelssohn's music: the stanza "Philomel, with melody..." is sung to the same melody.

The scene I chose felt like it was made for choral music. From the very beginning it is a song, a lullaby, with verses and a chorus. The scene contains, just like a choir, many different voices: Titania's voice, lines from various forest beings, the assembled fairy choir. The fairies try to use sorcery to protect their queen during her sleep. In my composition, this turns into polyphonic incantations that are repeated, whispered, chanted with a double tongue ("ta-ka-ta-ka-tam"), while Titania grows increasingly more sleepy.

But how does it end? Well, despite the fairies' intricate web of spells, Oberon then sneaks up to Titania and casts a spell on her while she sleeps... However, this is not part of our scene and we end in a deceptive calm: "All is well."

Britta Byström




  • Choral Highlights 2022
    • Choral Highlights 2022
    • In recent months and for the season ahead the Wise Music choral catalogues are once again burgeoning with new works. There are new pieces and publications from Richard Allain, Peter Bruun, Britta Byström, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Matthew Martin, Paul Mealor, Nico Muhly, Owain Park, Joby Talbot and Judith Weir, plus new repertoire from recent Australian signing Ross Edwards.