Tommy - (2017)
for high voice and piano
Tuis victima telis,
Mitto tibi, crudelis,
Multis surdus querelis,
Hanc picturam, sivelis
Id habere, abomi —
— nabilissime domi —
— ne et passime homi —
— num quos vidi !
pages, circa 2' 00"
original text ends not with "miao," but with Dodgson signing as if the cat:
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Janet McMullin from Christ Church Library wrote an
article entitled "The 'Real' Alice and a new collection on deposit in the
Library" in which this text is included. She published a translation in the
library newsletter, but first commented: "After some struggles, I
managed to come up with a translation of the text, 1 which retains seven
syllables per line as in the original and manages rhymes in both stanzas -
poor rhymes, I will admit, but the original is not great art either!"
McMullin's translation (with explanation of a term marked by asterisk below,
"Dominie is an old term (Scots) for a schoolteacher or
suffering feline, poor
Cat, I, victim of your claw,
Send to you, cruel, ignor -
- ing your complaints, deaf to more,
This photograph, if 'tis your
Wish to have it, abomi -
- nable (most by far) domi -
- nie*, worst of all the nomi -
- nate race I've seen.
texture of the opening suggests perhaps distant bells, in a lightly
polytonal color. For the Anglican flavor to those in Carroll's circle of
that time, a chant-like melodic line intones, before becoming more intense
and comical at its "meowing" end.
For other setting of the texts of Charles Dodgson -- Lewis Carroll --
The score is available as a
free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of
the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on
the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.
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A color facsimile is found in the Christ Church Library Newsletter,
Volume 9, Issues 1, 2 and 3, 2012-2013, p. 33, which is