Herz an Herz, as the title implies (heart to heart), is a love duet. Two distinct voices, characterised through their respective male and female vocal registers, negotiate a warm, heartfelt melody through a loosely strophic form. Initially the voices sing in turn, each section - or verse – led predominantly by one. Each time their lines entwine, virtuosic flourishes ascend the keyboard, interrupting to render them silent again. It is only after one particularly tumultuous episode that the true duet appears: Out of the murky resonances of the lowest ‘A’ emerges the throbbing chords and impassioned vocal lines from Wagner’s famous duet, O sink hernieder, Nacht der Liebefrom the second act of Tristan und Isolde. The ‘singers’, now reconciled, come together for one final verse before a fleeting memory of the beginning gently ushers in the end of the piece.
Herz an Herz was awarded 1st prize in William Howard's Love Song Composing Competition and was premiered on 26th April 2017 at Hoxton Hall, London, by William Howard. William Howard has released a recording of Herz an Herz, which will form part of his album Sixteen Contemporary Love Songs, to be released on Orchid Classics (ORC100083) in June 2018.