FOUR BRITISH SONGS
for female youth choir, 1997
About the texts:
The British language always fascinates me. The deep British humour, sometimes expressed in the turn of a single word only, the passionate expressiveness in the hands of the poets of the 19. century, the raw sensitivity of simple words. A language for young people.
So, when I endeavoured to write a series of serious compositions for youth choir, the British poetry seemed to me the best source of texts. The compositions do not give any regard to so called limitations in the ability of young people. My own experience has shown, that young people may overrate themselves, but most frequently they are seriously underrated by their elders. So, this is the music, as it must be.
John Keats is chosen to show the skinless emotion and deep despair, Shirley Brooks the overwhelming will of life, Edward Lear the generous expressiveness, giving a whole letter of seemingly nonsense, with various allusions, though, and finally Lewis Caroll to express the fake despair of the mock turtle, crying out his missing heart over the youth he did not have. And the final judgement: Come on!
Henrik Colding-Jørgensen, 2003