• Ian Venables
  • It Rains, Op. 33, no2 (2000)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)
  • Soprano and piano
  • 4 min

Programme Note

Part of the song cycle "Six Songs"

‘It Rains’ is a setting of an Edward Thomas poem and was composed as a memorial tribute to Joan Kilbey. The songs rich harmonies and warm vocal lines draw out the ambivalent mix of melancholy and passion in Thomas’ poem. It is based upon two distinct musical ideas: one that is sensual and lugubrious, the other uplifting and joyous.

A backdrop of soft summer rain is evoked through the use of a rich, harmonic sound world that sustains a heady mood in which the vocal narrative recalls a past moment of intense passion. A contrasting idea is introduced that is both harmonically and melodically affirmative in character. The unfolding vocal narrative seeks to find a synthesis between these two worlds. This musical resolution is finally achieved in the song’s concluding vocal climax on the words, ‘The past hovering as it revisits the light’. Here, a brief echo of the song’s opening mood is replaced by a triumphant restatement of the second, life-affirming idea.