Project Description

Death of a Giant is an anthology of seven settings of Australian poetry for medium to high solo voice with piano accompaniment. The theme of the collection is forests. The anthology is not to be confused with the choral composition of the same title.

I have experienced forests in England, Canada, Norway, Australia and New Zealand; walked at midnight in Finland through a grove of spruce and larch to hear the nightingales sing; and taken trails to see the magnificent sequoia giants in the USA. A great sense of tranquility and awe comes over one when in the presence of such beauty and aged immensity. After recovering from this first impression whilst looking up into the forest canopy, looking down reveals a microcosm of extraordinary living detail – intricate forests of mosses, lichens, flowering plants and fungi cast among the carpet of decaying leaves.

When I first discovered Philip Rush’s poem Death of a Giant, I was drawn once again into this amazing world. The poems chosen for this anthology focus upon the stories and timeless nature of the forest in its many forms. From the canopy to the floor, from the sunlight to the shadow, from the immense to the intricate, I would encourage you to explore in detail the marriage of the text and music to gain an understanding and appreciation of art song.

The included titles are:

  • Death of a Giant – Philip Rush
  • You were the seed – Nan Witcomb
  • Lichen, Moss, Fungus – Judith Wright
  • The Cycads – Judith Wright
  • The Leaf – Alister Kershaw
  • Rainforest – Judith Wright
  • In the depths of the forest – Henry Kendall
The songs included in the anthology “Death of a Giant – Seven settings of Australian poetry” are fabulous. The beautiful texts are set with great artistry and a very real sense of the singer’s art.
Jason Barry-Smith, Creative Director - Open Stage, Opera Queensland.
Death of a Giant

The Leaf
You were the seed

Lichen, Moss, Fungus

In the depths of a forest