• Julian Philips
  • Love Songs of Amy Lowell (2011)

  • Peters Edition Limited (World)

Commissioned by Presteigne Festival of Music with funding from the Arts Council of Wales

First performance: 26 August 2011 by Helen-Jane Howells, soprano and Huw Watkins, piano as part of the 2011 Presteigne Fesival


  • S + pf
  • Soprano
  • 16 min

Programme Note

Love Songs of Amy Lowell (2011)
for voice and piano

1. The Bungler
2. Opal
3. Bullion
4. Giver of Stars
5. A Gift

Completed in July 2011, Love Songs of Amy Lowell sets a sequence of five poems by the idiosyncratic Bostonian poet, Amy Lowell (1874-1925). Dealing with the dark side of love, most of Lowell’s poems are short and fleeting assembled here to form a short song-cycle that presents snapshots of often bitter experience. The overriding tone is feverish and troubled, with only the fourth song – Giver of Stars – breaking the prevailing mood. This impassioned love song transforms Lowell’s highly coloured poetic images into a sustained soprano line coloured by intricate shifting piano textures.

Julian Philips, 2023