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Words for Soprano and Piano

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High voice, piano

Duration (approx)   5 minutes
Composed   2003
Text Author(s)   Edward Thomas
Text Language   English
Publisher   Music Haven

Presteigne Festival of Music and the Arts Ltd.

First performance   25th August 2003
Venue   St Andrew's Church, Presteigne, Wales
Soloists / Players   Gillian Keith (soprano), Simon Lepper (piano)
Notes   This work appears on the 2004 recording 'A Garland for Presteigne' which is available at Amazon.

Single movement

Programme Notes

My appreciation of the poetry of Edward Thomas was, I must confess, brought about solely as a result of the search for a suitable contribution to A Garland For Presteigne. His effusive rhythms and ability to convey a sense of the ancient and mysterious inhabiting the familiar and quotidian captivated me and I felt the poem Words to be a particularly appropriate choice for this occasion.

My approach to the setting of Words was to allow the expression of its essential Englishness whilst attempting to reveal the darker and broader currents of human existence suggested in the poem.

Thomas was, it seems, a sensitive and troubled man who experienced periods of intense creativity followed by bouts of nervous exhaustion when he would retreat to the Welsh and English villages of his childhood. His conviction that 'the earth which you prove/ That we love' must be defended lead to his making the difficult decision to enlist in the British Army during the First World War and, as was the similar fate of so many fine and promising artists and thinkers, he was killed in the opening exchanges of the Battle of Arras.

This song was written for the soprano Gillian Keith and pianist Simon Lepper who gave the first performance at the Presteigne Festival. Presteigne and the surrounding countryside is surely a landscape that Edward Thomas would have known and loved.

Score Samples

Click a score sample below to view a larger version of the score...


Related News

Performance: Words

Tuesday 6th January 2004

Works:  Words for Soprano and Piano

World Premiere: Words for Soprano and Piano

Monday 25th August 2003

Part of the Presteigne Festival.

Works:  Words for Soprano and Piano

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