Tarik O'Regan

'Care Charminge Sleepe'
for string quartet

duration: 10 minutes

'Care Charminge Sleepe'

The string quartet takes for its title the opening three words of a lullaby by Robert Johnson (1583–1633). In his lullaby, originally for lute and voice, Johnson speaks of sleep as the 'easer of all woes'.

The general essence of the musical language has been to create a yearning for peace throughout the work. It's opening dissonance and subsequent fragmented nature has been composed with the intention of making the listener and players aware of what is not being heard. It is only towards the end of the work that the tension is released by a series of very slow and still chordal progressions which kiss the dissonance 'into slumbers like a Bride'.

Although the quartet is in five sections, the work is to be played as one continuous, long movement. The title of each section refers to a key emotion from the poetry, which is then expanded upon and subsequently reflected in the music. The work does not allude or quote in any way to Robert Johnson's own musical accompaniment for his poem.

Tarik O'Regan (b.1978) is currently completing his D.Phil. in Musical Composition at New College, Oxford having previously studied at Pembroke College, Oxford (B.A.) and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (M.Phil.).

His works have been performed by, among many others, the BBC Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Martyn Brabbins), the London Sinfonietta (Martyn Brabbins), Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (Pierre-André Valade), BBC Singers (Bob Chilcott), New College Choir (Edward Higginbottom), Clare College Choir (Tim Brown) and James Bowman. His compositions have been selected for various international festivals and for regular national broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and for television on BBC 2.

Tarik O'Regan is a classical recordings reviewer for The Observer newspaper and a supervisor in 20th century music history, analysis and composition for various Colleges in Cambridge University.

Published by Oxford University Press and Sulasol, Helsinki, he was recently awarded a prestigious MacDowell Fellowship in the USA.

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