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Music, harmony and darkened virtues
by Martin Gaughan

These miniatures for soprano and theorbo are settings of fragments by Petrarch. By turns delicate and rich, dramatic and detailed, with voice and instrument interacting closely, they are challenging to sing and hang together as an integral set.

 

The composer says:

"I was very interested in writing for an instrument I have loved the sound of for many years.  It was therefore a brilliant opportunity to do the theorbo workshop and to gain a deeper understanding of the instrument and how it can be used by composers today. When I came to compose my piece, I decided to use some ancient poems by Petrarch, and I decided these would form a short song cycle as opposed to one song".  M.G.

Music, harmony, and darkened virtues

Music, to create harmony,

must investigate discord.

 

Silence at the proper season is wisdom,

and better than any speech.

 

A few vices are sufficient to darken many virtues.

 

The mind is not a vessel to be filled,

but a fire to be kindled.

 

Francesco Petrarch

(1304-1374)