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Malcolm Benjamin Graham Christopher Williamson
1931 - 2003
Australia
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M.B.G.C. Williamson
Malcolm (Benjamin Graham Christopher) Williamson (21/11/1931 - 02/03/2003), an Australian composer, born in Sydney. He was a paradox, and perhaps nothing illustrates this more clearly than his appointment in 1975 to the position of Master of the Queen’s Music. He was inordinately proud of this appointment, not only of itself, but also as being the first non-British composer to hold the post. He was almost unquestioningly loyal to the Royal Family, and a stickler for correct protocol, consulting the appropriate reference books for apposite forms of address for differing ranks of nobility. At the same time he was not prepared for one minute to tolerate pomposity or ostentation, and would turn up to an important premier of one of his works wearing a kaftan, or something else equally ‘inappropriate’ and scandalising. Malcolm adored gossip and scandal, and loved bating the establishment. Many of the remarks which were to get him into trouble were often made completely knowingly, in the awareness that the whole world, and especially the establishment, were saying the same things behind closed doors, but would be horrified (and terrified) if anyone were to say them publicly. Malcolm was not afraid of these people, but perhaps, finally he paid the price of his independent spirit. At the time of his death there is barely a note of his music in the CD catalogues (and yet virtually the entire oeuvre of the most insignificant composers from the renaissance to the present day seems to be available). There is no music of his in the shops, and performances in concert are virtually non-existent. There are perhaps many reasons for this, but the only reason that is not valid is the quality of the music. Williamson will undoubtedly come to be seen as one of the great composers of the twentieth century.
When I am dead, my dearest
Period:Modernism
Composed in:1967
Musical form:song
Text/libretto:Christina (Georgina) Rossetti (1830 - 1894)
"When I am dead", published 1967, for voice and piano or string orchestra, from Six English Lyrics.
When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain:
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.

Christina Rossetti
(from Goblin Market and other Poems, published 1862)
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Chr. Rossetti
(text)
Requiem for a tribe brother
Period:Modernism
Composed in:1992
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
Duration:29'24''
In memory of:a young Aboriginal friend
Label(s):Naxos 8.557783
Requiem for a tribe brother (1992), for unaccompanied SATB choir, it was written on the death of a young aboriginal friend.
Requiem for a Tribe Brother contains:
1. Requiem aeternam (Introit) 03:37
2. Kyrie 02:45
3. Domine Jesu Christe (Offertory) 04:44
4. Pie Jesu 04:04
5. Sanctus 01:49
6. Benedictus 01:21
7. Agnus Dei 03:14
8. Lux aeterna (Communion) 02:31
9. Libera me 02:38
10. In Paradisum 02:40
Source:booklet of cd Naxos 8.557783