• Elizabeth Maconchy
  • Two Epitaphs (1975)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by Pamela Cooke for the Cantamus Ensemble

  • SSA
  • 3 min

Programme Note


These are both short understatements of great beauty and poignancy. The words of the first ‘Our life is nothing but a winter’s day’- are by Francis Quarles, and it is set as a melody for first sopranos underneath which the other two voices sing in ostinato based on the opening phrase. The second – ‘As tree falls, so it must lie’ – is a sinuous canon which eventually fades into silence with reiteration of the words ‘of eternity’.

TWO EPITAPHS was commissioned by Pamela Cooke for the Cantamus Ensemble who gave the first performance in 1975. The duration is 3’.

Elizabeth Maconchy