The virgin and the nightingale

Choral music, Vocal duets and ensembles

5 songs for 6 solo voices and flute

The texts are translated from Latin by Fleur Adcock

The virgin and the nightingale was commissioned with funding from the Music Board of the Australia Council. The first complete performance was given in 1992 by The Song Company.

About the work

The songs are settings of 5 mediaeval poems about birds:

  • Courtship
  • The Swan
  • The Thrush
  • The Roasted Swan, and
  • The Anti-nightingale song.


Scored for soprano, mezzo, alto, tenor, baritone and bass. Some of the songs have been sung by choirs. Flute is used in 3 songs.

Score and recording

Buy or borrow the score from SOUNZ.

The virgin and the nightingale — SOUNZ

This work has been released on CD by the Song Company.

The Laughter of Mermaids — CD