Songs & Sacred

Dichterliebe – Schumann
AH’s first excursion into translating Lieder. The translation was commissioned by the Southern Cathedrals Festival, 2010 for performances at the Pallant House Gallery in Chichester by Mark Wilde and David Owen-Norris.

Im wunderschönen Monat Mai

Among the darling buds of May,
when trees were laden with blossom,
my heart encountered passion
and flames of love were burning.

Among the darling buds of May,
when all the birds were singing,
I made a bold confession
of hope, desire and yearning.

Songs of Joy – Brett Dean
These three songs for baritone and orchestra were written in fairly short order at the request of Simon Rattle to Brett Dean for a new piece to include in his return concert with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in 2008, when Liverpool was the European Capital of Culture.

As Brett Dean was busy writing the opera Bliss, he decided to write the three arias for the main character, Harry Joy, before the remainder of the opera. This was the result: Harry’s Vision, The Ballad of Little Titch, Sonnet. The premiere took place at Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool on 2 October 2008; the soloist was Peter Coleman-Wright who went on to create the hugely challenging role of Harry Joy in Dean’s opera.

2 The Ballad of Little Titch – a tall story of a dark horse

His father was tall, his brothers were tall,
but he and his mother were terribly small
little Titch…

He was greeted by catcalls and withering cries
by bullies who mocked him because of his size
little Titch…

For mother those people were scum to despise,
the sniggering wretches with ignorant eyes;
but though little Titch was both canny and wise,
being tiny was something he couldn’t disguise.


© Boosey & Hawkes

The Epic of Gilgamesh – Martinů
adaptation of original English text by the composer after Babylonian sources (1954-55)

Simon Rattle commissioned this re-working of an English libretto (on the grounds that Martinů’s use of English wasn’t great) for his performances of Martinů’s oratorio (for 4 soloists, chorus and orchestra) in 1996 with the CBSO. The concerts were recorded and broadcast by BBC radio 3.

The Christmas Story – Schütz

This short oratorio was performed for Christmas 2001 at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. The translation was commissioned by the conductor, Jonathan Sheffer, of the EOS Orchestra, New York, primarily for Peter Kazaras, the tenor who sang the role of the evangelist.