There must be time for grief Richard Tsang

Text/libretto by
Ursula Vaughan Williams
5 mins

Voice, accompanied Voice & Piano

1 Soprano, 1 Piano

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for soprano and piano

Programme note

For Borthwick and Richard Tsang, the issue of style is fused with modernist concerns of time and temporality. In Richard Tsang’s ‘There must be time for grief’, time escapes and the shadows of Tippett and Britten loom large. Here, daily chores and responsibilities are deemed too pressing to allow the singer (Ursula) any luxury of grief; a relentless marching tempo and precise motor rhythms reflect time’s indifference to human suffering and emotion; and, as Richard Tsang describes in his notes to the first performance, clashing semitones provide the ‘backbone’ of the song, the building blocks for ‘dissonant but lively textures that echo the superficial loftiness of the poem’s temperament’. At the end of the song a clear return to the opening implies the perpetuity of (temporal) loss. (Lee Tsang, 2010)

Beverley Minster, 15th April 2010
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