• S,T + pf/vn.vc
  • Soprano, Tenor
  • 35 min

Programme Note

Cantos de Sonho (Songs of sleep) (2013)
for soprano, tenor & piano trio

1.      To one playing
2.      Sonnet of a sceptic
3.      Sad lot of all on earth
4.      Sonnet
5.      Heart-music
6.      Souvenir 

Cantos de Sonho (2013) deploys soprano, tenor and piano trio in an exploration of six poems by Alexander Search, which centre on images of sleep and dreams. Though essentially abstract in design, the work is notionally mapped out across a troubled night of sleep, framed by a serenade (To one playing) and a final aubade (Souvenir). Cantos de Sonho is more lyric dialogue than song cycle – a dialogue between soprano and tenor, between voices and instruments and between ‘text’ and ‘musical response’. It is predominantly reflective and elusive in tone – a quality reinforced by its poetic starting point: ‘Alexander Search’ was just one of the over seventy heteronyms, or alter egos, of the great Portuguese poet, Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935). 

Cantos de Sonho is dedicated to Ricardo da Silva Esteves.

Julian Philips, 2023