• Brian Elias
  • Once did I breathe another's breath (2012)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

This work was commissioned for the 2013 Ludlow Weekend of English Song with funds provided by Finzi Friends and specifically Ernie Kay, Brian & Mary Midgley and Adrian & Norma Williams. The first performance of Once Did I Breathe Another’s Breath was given by Ashley Riches and Iain Burnside on 31st May 2013 at the Ludlow Weekend of English Song in Ludlow Assembly Rooms.

  • pf
  • Baritone
  • 12 min 30 s
  • Robert Burton, William Cavendish, George Chapman and anon.

Programme Note

These five songs for baritone and piano take love as their subject. All the poems set were probably written in the first half of the seventeenth century, and the songs in the cycle are also connected to each other by the musical material used.

The first four songs are concerned with some of the happier aspects of being in love, while the final song regrets that the splendour and bliss of love cannot last: it wanes like the "full-orbed” moon. Once Did I Breathe Another’s Breath was completed in November 2012.
Brian Elias


I. Dost ask my dear
II. Dear, let us two each other spy
III. Now sleep, bind fast the flood of air
IV. Once did my thoughts both ebb and flow
V. There comes a night