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Frigates & Folly

for chorus and orchestra

Frigates & Folly is a tribute to the character Stubb from Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby-Dick. Whilst recognising the almost certain demise of his ship and all those aboard it, Stubb uses his tireless sense of humour, sarcastic quips and witty songs to help raise the spirits of his crewmates and occasionally mask his own fears and shortcomings. The selected texts used throughout this work hope to open a small window into the tragically optimistic life of the ship’s pipe smoking Second Mate. They include: a silly ditty belittling a looming typhoon, a surreal dream scene involving a badger-haired merman imparting important life lessons, a drinking song and a depiction of the steadfast sun amidst the chaos of the cosmos. For me, Stubb offers more than simple comic relief and is a symbol of resilience, playfulness and joy in the face of all that is doom-fated.

Recording available on Antiarkie, released on NMC Recordings, performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Crouch End Festival Chorus.


24 October 2018 BBC Concert Orchestra & Crouch End Festival Chorus, David Temple (cond.), Barbican Hall, London

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