Duration: 6'00" |
Ensemble: SATB Unaccompanied
Sing, Oh! My love is a pair of two traditional carol texts treated to contemporary musical settings.
Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day was written for, and is dedicated to, a friend's mother - a lady with severe dementia - who was seriously ill at the time, and who, in her own words 'loves to dance'.
This setting removes the expected anacrusis word setting of the opening line and instead makes the word stress with an octave leap. This combined with fairly rapid text setting and regular use of straight crotchets against the dotted crotchet beat helps conjure breathless excitement, youthful vigour, the somewhat jaunty verses giving way to the more sweeping chorus which juxtaposes compound 6/8 with 3/4 which, along with ever decreasing phrase lengths captures a sense of barely contained joy.
The more contemplative setting of Jesus Christ the Apple Tree is marked misterioso, and it is a sense of mystery that should prevail in any performance. The 7/8 time signature is there not to add rhythmic interest but to create ambiguity - the piece should always move forwards therefore but without any feeling of pulse or of being driven. The harmony too is ambiguous, though it never leaves the realms of tonality, and it should be sung in as semplice a manner as possible to avoid overcooking the passing dissonances.
Above all the dynamic scheme should be preserved without ever the need for oversinging. The opening lines of the first and last verse may be sung as a solo if desired, as may the closing line of the piece.