Programme Note

A Refusal to Mourn was commissioned by the Cambridge University Chamber Orchestra with funds from the RVW Trust and premiered at West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge, with soloist Emma Fielding, conducted by Nicholas Daniel in November 2000.

A Refusal to Mourn (commissioned as a homage to J.S. Bach on the 250th anniversary of his death) uses Lutheran Chorales as its inspiration: in the Recitative first movement, the notes from Ich lass dich nicht (I Shall Not Leave Thee) are piled on top of each other to create a chord sequence in the string orchestra which accompanies a rhapsodic oboe melody that is a freer interpretation of the chorale. The second Fugato movement is based on a motivic cell based on the pitches of Christus, der ist mein Leben (Christ is my life) and is a moto-perpetuo that ranges in mood from the barbaric to the slushily lyrical (the long romantic melody in oboe, solo violin and solo ‘cello being a retrograde and retrograde inversion of the aforementioned motivic cell). The third movement, a Chorale, uses the melody of Christus, der is mein Leben in almost unaltered form and functions as a kind of reconciliatory coda, the oboe and strings being united after the first Recitative movement where the oboe had been very much a solitary figure against the homogenous body of strings.

A Refusal to Mourn was recorded for Cheryl’s third Champs Hill Record Disc in September 2015, with soloist Nicholas Daniel, Conductor Paul Hoskins and the Rambert Orchestra. The score was revised in 2015 for the recording and is presented in this new edition.

​© Cheryl Frances-Hoad, 2015