• Geoffrey Burgon
  • Five Love Songs (1992)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)
  • SATB
  • 12 min

Programme Note

First Love Songs is a setting of five lyrics by WH Auden for unaccompanied mixed chorus, written at the beginning of 1992. The first ‘Make this night Loveable’ is a simple, strophic setting of the words characterised by a rise of a tone in the last two verses, concluding with a brief coda.

The second, ‘Eyes look down in the Well’ is marked lento, molto intensivo. The line is carried by the altos whilst the other voices accompany them with repeated, bell like notes.

‘That Night when Joy Began’ is set as a scherzo. Altos and tenors have a hocket like figure enclosed by canonic writing for sopranos and basses. This pattern is broken towards the end, when the lower voices take up repeating figures to accompany the soprano melody.

The fourth song, marked lento e triste is ‘Dear, Though the Night is Gone’. It is a soprano solo, accompanied by all the other voices humming, long notes.

The final song, ‘Warm are the Still and Lucky Miles’, marked quasi un valzer, is set in a quiet, dance like way in four part harmony throughout, and ends with repetitions of the final phrase ‘Part no More’.

John Candover 1992