Oh to vex me

Poet:  John Donne (c.1572-1631)

Source:  The Holy Sonnets of John Donne

Date of Composition: 1945 (Aug. 7)

Publication:  Boosey & Hawkes, 1946

Voice Difficulty Level: Difficult

Subject: I pray to God at night and fear him in the morning.

Range:  C4 – G#5

Tessitura:  E4 – E5

Tempo: Allegro fantastico; 2/4

Duration:  01:16

Vocal Characteristics: Pointillistic eighth note melody; wordy; quarter note triplet figures across bar lines; seven measure triplet melisma against sixteenth and eighth note pulse in accompaniment;

Piano Difficulty Level:  Difficult

Accompaniment Characteristics: Driving sixteenth note figures in octaves; sixteenth note counter-melody in right hand with detached eighth notes in the left hand; driving sixteenth notes in contrary motion between hands;

Additional Comments: Numerical tempo indication is not in the manuscript; there are many more fingering suggestions in the manuscript than in the published score; pp. 16, mm. 3, manuscript contains a “Ped.” indication on beat two; pp. 18, mm. 8, manuscript has a piano dynamic of ppp indicated  on downbeat; pp. 19, mm. 4, manuscript has a dynamic of pp for both voice and piano; pp. 19, manuscript indicates a crescendo from downbeat of mm. 6 to mm. 7 beat 2, and a decrescendo from mm. 7 beat 2 to the end of measure 8, in addition there are also accents on the downbeat of mm. 6, mm. 7 beat 2, and the downbeat of mm. 9; manuscript indicates the duration as 1:00

© Nicholas Perna and Mandy Spivak 2013