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Sample Pages for mixed choir (SATB div) a cappella
Text: English (John Clare, W B Yeats, John McCrae)
Duration: 12'00''
Difficulty: 4/5
Use: Love, General

1. First Love (John Clare, 1793–1864)
2. Though you are in your shining days & The Cloths of Heaven (W B Yeats, 1865–1939)
3. Then and Now (John McCrae, 1872–1918)

These Three Songs of Love were commissioned by Exultate Singers and first performed on 14 February 2015 at St George's Bristol. The three texts (Clare, Yeats and McCrae) represent various moods of love, from the thrill of its first appearance and the miniature death which this involves, through the devotion felt towards the beloved even if they are unaware of it, to the distant memories evoked by a return to an old haunt. The florid and expressive music is tied very closely to the words, with rich harmonies and clever counterpoint alongside homophonic passages. The songs will present a mild challenge to intermediate choirs, but they are sure to be pleasing to both singers and audiences and an excellent addition to the contemporary repertoire.

Each of the three songs may be performed separately and The Cloths of Heaven (number 2, bars 14–34) may be performed independently to Though you are in your shining days. The Cloths of Heaven is also available separately here.

Texts can be downloaded by clicking here.

David Bednall
David Bednall has a growing reputation as one of the leading choral composers of his generation, and studied for a PhD in Composition with Professor John Pickard at the University of Bristol. He has an extensive freelance playing and conducting career, and is Organist of The University of Bristol, Sub Organist at Bristol Cathedral, and conducts The University Singers. He studied with Dr Naji Hakim and David Briggs and was Assistant Organist at Wells Cathedral. The first recording of his work, Hail, gladdening light, was a Gramophone Editor’s Choice, and the CD Flame Celestial received a Gramophone Recommendation. The recording of his Requiem received similar accolades. A number of his works have been broadcast on radio, and recent work has included Missa Sancti Pauli for St Paul’s Cathedral, and Welcome All Wonders for The Queen’s College, Oxford. The latter is his largest work to date and the recording on Signum has garnered superb international critical acclaim.

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