Duration: 13'00" |
Ensemble: tenor piano violin
This setting of three poems by Blake was commissioned by the Villages Music Festival,
Sussex, for a concert in Ripe Church in June 2016. The texts (written in 1789)
offer the universal theme of God's love and blessing through our nightly rest.
A Dream: The distinct sonic effect of open fourths and fifths throughout the piano accompaniment provide the backdrop to Blake's Dream. The violin does not have a melody as such, merely musical ideas that complement the abstract nature of the sleeper's troubled journey. The song finishes as mysteriously as it begins with no real resolve ever being found.
A Cradle Song: With its gentle rocking rhythm and syncopated violin melody, the narrative of A Cradle Song takes the form of a lullaby. The violin enjoys soaring above the piano as the text draws on images of the weeping Christ-child, yet the song finishes with the warmth of the love that He brought to earth.
Night: This setting emphasises the picture of security in which guardian angels pour blessing on all living things. The accompanying forces paint a bleak picture of the stillness of the night until the third verse, which, now in a major key, moves forward as the angels seek out and offer protection to all forms of life. Verse five becomes a little more dissonant as the words describe the pain of moving into the afterlife; and the angst, which finds reassurance and relief in the final verse.