Solo songs

Charlotte at Haworth (2020) – soprano and piano – 4′30

A setting of letters by Charlotte Brontë after the death of her siblings, describing her life at home without them. This piece was a prize winner in the Association of English Singers and Speakers English Song Competition 2020.

Text:
I am now again at home, where I returned last Thursday.
I call it home still – much as London would be called London if an earthquake should shake its streets to ruins.
I am free to walk on the moors, but when I go out there alone everything reminds me of the times when others were with me. My sister Emily had a particular love for them, and there is not a knoll of heather, not a branch of fern, not a young bilberry leaf, not a fluttering lark or linnet, but reminds me of her.
The distant prospects were Anne’s delight, and when I look round she is in the blue tints, the pale mists, the waves and shadows of the horizon.
In the hill-country silence their poetry comes by lines and stanzas into my mind.
I am now again at home: Haworth parsonage is still a home for me;
Papa is there; their poetry;
I call it home still.

The Garden in Spring (2020) – soprano and piano – 2

This song was written for a recital by Charlie Pemberton and Sarah MacDonald, recorded for Newnham College’s Development Office. The words are by Fredegond Shove, a poet who attended Newnham from 1910 to 1913.

A New Year Carol (2016) – voice and piano – 2′15″

This setting of a traditional text moves between dream-like verses and more punchy choruses. The range of the vocal line is only an octave, D to D, in line with the span of many folk songs.