The Saga of the Seven Days
a setting of new texts by Derek Roberts and Paul Wigmore for unison choir (optional divisi) with piano accompaniment. It has one movement for each day of the week: Sun, Moon, Tiu, Wodin, Thor, Freya and Saturn.
Each day of the week derives its name either from a heavenly body (Sun, Moon), or from the names of Anglo-Saxon, Norse or Roman gods. Thus, Tuesday is named after Tiu, Wednesday is named after Wodin, Thursday is named after Thor, Friday is named after Freya and Saturday after Saturn. "The Saga of the Seven Days" has one song for each day preceded by optional narration.
A CD made in 2013 is available from the NYCoS online shop.
Subsequently performed in 2010 by the RSNO Junior Chorus with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Glasgow and the Belfast Philharmonic Youth Choir and Phil Kids with the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast in an orchestration by Paul Campbell.
Music Teacher review (April 2007) says:
"At last – songs the boys in your choir will enjoy! This cantata by Scottish composer Tom Cunningham certainly ticks all the boxes when it comes to finding music for boys which is fun and chorally satisfying. Witty and informative narratives are coupled with well-crafted songs in a variety of styles. If you are looking for something new for that end-of-term concert this cantata has much to offer children in upper-KS2/lower-KS3. Try it! I am certainly going to."
Of the performance at his school in March 2010, the Master of Magdalen College School, Oxford, writes "one of my favourite events of the year, the whole of the Second Form under Mr Cullen in The Saga of the Seven Days".
Here is a complete recording and extracts of the score:
The Sun, audio, score-extract
The Moon, audio, score-extract
How Tiu lost his arm, audio, score-extract
Wodin, the All-father, audio, score-extract
The Great God Thor, audio, score-extract
Freya, audio, score-extract
Saturn, audio, score-extract
The performance is by the NYCoS National Boys' Choir conducted by Christopher Bell, accompanied by Stuart Hope.