• Anthony Payne
  • A Little Passiontide Cantata (1974)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Programme Note

A Little Passionate Cantata

Anthony Payne composed this a cappella work in 1975, selecting as his text a beautiful anonymous 14th century poem in which the poet views Christ suffering on the Cross. The piece falls into sections which are separated by the haunting refrain.

Lovely tear of lovely eye,
Why dost thou give me woe?
Sorrowful tear of sorrowful eye,
Thou breakest my heart in two.

With each repetition the final line of this refrain is spoken softly and movingly by the basses.

When the composer subsequently wrote three companion cantatas for Ascensionstide, Whitsuntide and Christmas, he found himself incorporating the melancholy paragraph from his original Passiontide Cantata in order to express (in the Cantata for Ascensiontide) the grief of the Disciples at their moment of great despair.