A tear is a piece about love and grief. The text is the first stanza of a fourteenth-century English poem on the crucifixion. The original reads:
Lovely ter of lovely eiye,
Why dostu me so wo?
Sorful ter of sorful eiye,
Thu brekst mine herte ato.
The music follows a clear structure: the poem is sung four times to the same melody, each time with different numbers of singers and in a slightly different way. In between these verses are organ ‘toccatas’. These toccatas are not embellishments or commentaries on the choral verses so much as spaces for reflection.
A tear was commissioned by The Organ Project, Union Chapel.