for mixed choir (SATB div) & piano
Text: English (from the original Greek of Maria Polydouri, trans Nils Peterson)
I sing because... is the third and final movement of the choral suite Songs of Love, which was commissioned by Elena Sharkova for the Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale in 2012. The haunting and yearning text is set with an aching melody which starts on upper voices and gradually builds to the whole choir. The piece should be sung in as sustained a way as possible, especially in the final four bars to give plenty of space for the piano ripples.
First performance: 9 June 2012 at California Theatre, San Jose, USA, by Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale, conducted by Elena Sharkova.
I sing because you loved me once.
I sing when the sun shines,
when it rains and when it snows.
Because you held me in your arms one night.
I am as beautiful as a wide-open lily.
Because you looked at me once
and your soul was in your look
I fix my hair and wear perfume.
Because you admired me walking by
I saw my slender shadow move.
I was born into this world
because you loved me.
Now you are gone.
Because you loved me once,
I too can sweetly die.
So beautifully you loved me once.
Will Todd is a UK-based performer and composer whose music spans a variety of styles and genres. Best known for his choral works, his 2003 jazz mass setting Mass in Blue has been performed more than eighty times since its premiere by choirs in the UK, Europe and the USA. Other notable works for choir range from large scale oratorios such as Saint Cuthbert (recorded by the Hallé Orchestra in 2002) to the anthem Stay with Me Lord, commissioned for The Sixteen. He has worked on operas and stageworks for OperaGenesis at the Royal Opera House and the National Opera Studio, and his 2009 Jazz Concerto for Clarinet, written for Emma Johnson, has been performed in the UK, USA and Finland. As a performer, Will Todd leads his own Will Todd Trio from the piano and was recently an invited guest artist at the Lincoln Center in New York.