Songs of Love and Loss

Songs of Love and Loss was written for a concert in 1995 and arose out of my choral cantata Memorare which was performed in November 1995. Originally, the song cycle was written for the rather unwieldy combination of two sopranos, mezzo-soprano, horn and piano. Whilst performing the song cycle in 1996, the counter-tenor David Greiner suggested that with some judicious transposition and replacing one number, the cycle would work well for one singer. I thus, reluctantly, jettisonned the duet The Sea and replaced it with a new number, Davidís Lament for Jonathan. At the same time I replaced the horn by a somewhat quieter instrument, (Clarinet or Viola) The cycle remains predominantly melancholy in tone, as it examines issues of love, loss and bereavement from various points of view, but I would hope that the closing pages of Memorare, with their description of an Aids Candlelight vigil, provide an element of hope and upliftment.

Robert Hugill

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