Let this Harvest Pass, O Love

In 1996 organised a concert of my music which included one of my solo motets sung by the counter-tenor Rupert Damerell. This generated the seed of an idea for a new song cycle written with Rupert’s voice in mind. Later that year I discovered a copy of Carl Cook’s Postscripts, and this collection of short, sometimes melancholy, poems attracted me and the poet’s attitude to love mirrored aspects of my own attitude.
 
Somewhere along the way, the song cycle Let this Harvest Pass O Love acquired a guitar accompaniment rather than piano. As I wanted to produce a cycle of short songs, I set 12 poems from the second section of the book, Postscripts. The poems were chosen because they made a fairly compact group and could be read as describing a love affair from start to finish. They form a rather satisfactory arch shape with the early poems looking forward to the central joyful ones and the later ones looking back. I have reflected this shape in the songs and many of the later songs echo the thematic material of the earlier ones. Only numbers 4 and 5 could be described as free from some sort of melancholy. The cycle plays continuously.

Robert Hugill

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