The singer By David F Golightly

Additional Information

Russian text:A.Pushkin, tr:H.Jones. 1.Life's Carriage; 2.The Bird; 3.Singer;4.Flower; 5.Omens; 6.Elegy.

Rites of Passage In 1993 David had also written a sequence of songs for one of the top male voice choirs in Russia, the Rouss-land Soglasie Choir of St Petersburg. The cycle involved settings for six poems by the great Russian poet, Pushkin, and was called “Rites of Passage”. David has been familiar with the work of Pushkin for some time, since he bought an anthology of Pushkin’s poems from an antique shop in Hexham when he was 17. So it seemed a natural progression for him to create “Rites of Passage”, putting together six poems in a sequence that reflects a journey through life. The fourth song, “The Flower “, echoes experiences of love corrupted by circumstance. It was written for a loved one, revealing “the poignancy of receiving a crushed flower, given as a gift of remembrance of a timeless moment.” The Russians performed “Rites of Passage” throughout Britain on their l993 UK tour, and have since performed it many times in Russia and Europe. It has become their theme tune! Copyright Steve Hobson l995. Reviews The Music of David Golightly, by Alexander Govorov David Golightly''s Choral music was the first Western composer''s music to become part of Soglasie''s repertoire, following the Choir''s first meeting with the composer in March 1993. I was greatly interested in his work from the first, particularly as I was familiar with the English style of Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Britten and Tippett. David Golightly''s work is indisputably English, but his music also reveals an Englishman with a Russian Soul. As we rehearsed "Rites of Passage" we were inspired. Working our way towards a better understanding of the choral pieces, we discovered both the composer''s love for Pushkin''s poetry and the deep sincerity of his talent. The ideas and images of Pushkin''s words expressed themselves through the composer''s language of music. The great Russian composer, Mussorgsky, said, "Of greatest importance for a composer in creating music is the search for truth". It is this truth we hear when we perform David Golightly''s music. Our further association with this talented English composer developed into a large scale co-operation, "The St Petersburg Mass ", which was composed for and commissioned by the Soglasie Choir. The premiere of this work in St Petersburg in May 1994 was a major event in the musical life of the city and many important artists and composers attended this unique occasion. Professor Mussin, who is head of Conducting at the St Petersburg Conservatoire, commented that it was "Music of the Heart". and it received a ten-minute standing ovation from an enthusiastic audience.

“According to the great composer Mussorgsky, ‘Of greatest importance for a composer is his search for truth’; it is this truth we hear when we perform David Golightly’s music”
Alexander Govorov,  Conductor of the Rouss-land Soglasie Choir of St Petersburg

“The Englishman with a Russian Soul”
Alexander Govorov,  Conductor of the Rouss-land Soglasie Choir of St Petersburg

Movements available seperately as digital downloads from Sheet Music Plus Full score available to purchase from Modrana Music Publishers Ltd


Accompanied Choral
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Rights of Passage S.A.T.B. Version

Frosterley , County Durham
United Kingdom
54° 43' 37.236" N, 1° 57' 55.404" W
County Durham GB