Two Songs from A Shropshire Lad

Programme Note

When I was growing up, we had a copy of A Shropshire Lad on the bookshelf, and the poems I found inside were among the first I ever got to know. As a teenager, following the lead of many English composers of the 20th century, I set many of them to music. A few years later, during the final year of my undergraduate degree, I wrote Two Songs from A Shropshire Lad as part of a music theory module. I quickly forgot about the songs once they had fulfilled their pedagogical function, but found them again years later while looking through old boxes. Despite being very distant from the music I have written since – they were, after all, conceived as pastiche – they seemed to me to have a vivid character that transcended their stylistic ‘limitations’. I therefore chose to revise them in an attempt to iron out some of their weaknesses, and it is the result of those revisions that is presented here.

Year: 2007
Duration: 3′
Instrumentation: Tenor, Piano