'The Rosy Hearth'

Yesterday afternoon my new piece, 'The Rosy Hearth', was premiered in the RNCM Concert Hall, Manchester, by Ranald McCusker (tenor voice) and Elin Rees (piano). It was commissioned by the RNCM for their 'Day of Song' festival, which was a wonderful exploration into composers who were inspired by great poets. The concert, titled 'An Exquisite Hour',featured works that set texts by Paul Verlaine, Charles Baudelaire and Heinrich Heine. 

My piece is a setting of the english translation of the poem 'The Rosy Hearth' by Paul Verlaine. The poem describes a bittersweet scene in which the narrator reflects over the closing of the day when he can finally relax and dream. However, the piece almost acts as a lamentation of the words due to the chromatic undertones throughout the work whilst also resembling a more traditional art song.

The rosy hearth, the lamplight's narrow beam,
The meditation that is rather dream,
With looks that lose themselves in cherished looks;
The hour of steaming tea and banished books;
The sweetness of the evening at an end,
The dear fatigue, and right to rest attained,
And worshipped expectation of the night,-
Oh, all these things, in unrelenting flight,
My dream pursues through all the vain delays,
Impatient of the weeks, mad at the days! 
- Paul Verlaine

You can hear a recording of the performance here!