This work is a setting of three fragments from the poetry of Christina Rossetti (1830-1894), probably best known for poems such as In the bleak mid-winter and Love came down at Christmas. Certainly much of her poetry has a concern with love and death, although the texts used here are all to do with singing.
The piece divides into three sections following the divisions of the text, and begins with an introductory section for the orchestra. The music of the opening choral section returns in a slightly modified form as the final section.
The work was commissioned for the Hamilton Music School held in August 1991, and was intended for the entire school to perform: choir, orchestra and symphonic band members. The scoring has some degree of flexibility as I could not be sure in advance who I was writing for.
Originally commissioned by Hamilton Music School 1991
Text by Christina Rosetti