Songs for Soprano and Piano Op.37

1. ‘Love Lives Beyond’ Op.37, no 1
Composed: 2004
Duration: 4 minutes
First performance: none to date
Available from: Novello and Co

This song was composed for the late Trudy Bliss in celebration of her 100th birthday.

The poem by John Clare, chosen by Lady Bliss herself, was one of her most loved poems and its sentiments echo her personal belief that love transcends all, even the grave. The song was performed to her a few days after her birthday by the composer accompanied by Graham Lloyd on Sir Arthur’s piano!

‘Friendship’ Op.37, no 2
Composed: 2008
Duration: 3 minutes
First performance: July 2009 Leasowes Concerts, Patricia Rozario, Mark Bebbington.

‘Friendship’is a setting of a poem by Elizabeth Jennings and was written especially for the distinguished soprano Patricia Rozario. It is dedicated to the memory of Jim Chance, a dear friend of the composer who died suddenly in April 2008.

The words describe the essence of a deep and loving friendship and the music, at times positive and uplifting and at others wistful, epitomises the composer’s ability to set profound words using a deep and meaningful musical language. The song’s outer sections create a languorous and impressionistic backdrop to a love ‘that cannot be analysed’ and flank a central episode which both poet and composer suggest with confidence is “preserved by trust and respect and awe”: the marking gradevole (pleasing), indicating the essential mood the composer wishes to express. Writing with Patricia Rozario’s voice in mind, Venables has set the voice in a high register, which in part, adds to the overall felling of optimism and joy that the poem attempts to express.

‘Aurelia’ Op.37, no 3
Composed: 2016
Duration: 3 minutes
First performance: Held at the home of Nina, Princess Odescalci