Parry, Ben: Science Song. SSA and piano
SSA and piano
Words by John ‘Kappa’ Cornforth
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In a musical first, acclaimed conductor and composer Ben Parry sets the tongue-twister ‘para dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane’ – better known as DDT – as the climax of his hilarious Science Song. Young performers will relish singing this very grown-up word, and in three-part canon at that. Adults will enjoy the mix of physics, funky music, and witty texts by the remarkable Nobel-winning chemist Professor Sir John ‘Kappa’ Cornforth (1917–2013). Though profoundly deaf, ‘Kappa’ nonetheless treasured both science and the arts – poetry especially – and was famed for his limericks, often penned during the duller moments of conferences! Commissioned in 2016 to mark the retirement of the Master of Ben’s alma mater, St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, Science Song features limericks on three topics – evolution, chemistry and biochemistry – in pithy combination. St Catharine’s College Girls’ Choir gave the first performance, and their bright and sparky reading conducted by Edward Wickham may be heard here. Farnham Youth Choir’s lively account – plus actions – can be enjoyed below. Proudly publishing the work of a Nobel laureate, Stainer & Bell now shares Science Song with upper-voice choral ensembles everywhere, so that all may delight in its brilliant combo of ideas, and its inspirational meeting of minds from science and new music.
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