Op 23 Spring Night

‘for Janet Stickland’     (22 mins)
Concert Aria for mezzo soprano and orchestra   Poems by Sidney Keyes

1.2.1.1.   –   2.1.1.0.   –   timpani, percussion (2)   –   piano   –   strings

Spring Night   –   The Lover   –   The Crowning

The dramatic aria Spring Night is a setting of three poems from Against a Second Coming by Sidney Keyes, the young poet killed in Tunisia in 1943. His vision captures the agonised acceptance of death, despite their passion for life, by the youthful conscript soldiers of the Second World War. His richly tempered imagery uses symbolism, with many layers of interpretation – allegorical, spiritual – whose musical undertones have inspired several   contemporary composers; one in particular , Michael Tippett, whose songs The Heart’s Assurance are sub-titled “Love under the shadow of death “.

First performance   13 March, 1972   London (South Bank)
by Janet Stickland, London Mozart Players, conducted by Janos Fürst

Full score ISMN M 708045 11 3

Vocal score ISMN M 708045 12 0


LISTEN TO A SOUND SAMPLE (13′ 47″)
II Vivace “One stands at the door importunate” 2’ 41”
III Andante “ Condemned and crowned “ 11’06”
Susan Kessler, BBC Scottish SO , Christopher Adey


PURCHASE THE MUSIC

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We regret to advise that Francis Routh died peacefully on 27th November 2021
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