Four Passing Songs

for voice and piano

Robert Peate

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for voice and piano

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Composer Robert Peate
Year of Composition 2019-20
Duration 8'40"

Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-rp1fps1


Written on a theme of change – each song centres on a different kind of transformation, or passage from one world to another. The first song How sweet I roam’d from field to field (W. Blake) moves from freedom to captivity, or innocence to experience. The second is a setting of part of a traditional German lullaby. The third sets a translation of a death-poem by the Haiku poet Bainen, who associates his own passing with the arrival of spring. The final song was written as a 60th birthday present for friend and colleague Jo Williamson, and sets the final part of Helen Hunt Jackson’s New Year’s Morning – ending the set on a meditative and optimistic view of the passing of time, with the lines: “The new is but the old come true; / Each sunrise sees a new year born.”