Noye’s Fludde

Op. 59. The Chester Miracle Play, set for adults’ and children’s voices, children’s chorus, chamber ensemble and children’s orchestra

The text is from ‘English Miracle Plays, Moralities and Interludes’

First performance

18 June 1958 Orford Church, Aldeburgh Festival

Noye’s Fludde, completed in December 1957 and first performed during the 1958 Aldeburgh Festival, is his most extended and elaborate work for children. In common with Saint Nicolas and The Little Sweep, the work is written in such as way as to combine professional and amateur performers, the music often tailored to take account of the abilities of less accomplished players but without any sense of compromise or writing down. Most of the main vocal parts are written for children (the exceptions being Noye himself, Noye’s wife and the Voice of God) and the orchestral forces comprise strings, recorders, bugles, handbells and a large assortment of percussion including such home-made instruments as sandpaper blocks and slung mugs. The congregation also gets the opportunity to participate in three hymn-settings.

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