First performed in 2010, In Memoriam is a concert programme of two late Romantic song cycles, “In Memoriam” and “Six Sorrow Songs“. Featuring a Mezzo Soprano (or Baritone) and Piano, In Memoriam” is a candle-lit performance of two out-of-print late romantic song cycles, “In Memoriam” (Tennyson/Lehmann) and “Six Sorrow Songs” (Rosetti/Colderidge-Taylor
As well as appealing to fans of late romantic song and opera, In Memoriam is also of interest to those who are attracted to the darker side of the Victorian era.
More information about the music:
“In Memoriam” is a 40 minute, through-composed song cycle, a musical setting of selected parts of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s requiem for his Cambridge friend, Arthur Henry Hallam. The poem explores the possibility of hope after loss, and was a favourite of Queen Victoria.
The music was composed by Liza Lehmann, an operatic soprano and composer, and one of England’s leading female composers of the late 19th/early 20th century. She toured the United States, accompanying herself on the piano in recitals, and wrote several childrens’ songs as well as settings of more serious texts.
“Six Sorrow Songs” is a song cycle of six, fairly short songs. The text is by Christina Rosetti, pre-Raphaelite poet and sister of the painter Dante Gabriel Rosetti. Like “In Memoriam”, the “Six Sorrow Songs” meditate on grief and loss.
The musical setting of these poems was composed by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Once called the “African Mahler”, Colderidge-Taylor was an English composer of the late 19th/early 20th century, born to English and Sierra Leonnean parents. Recommended by Elgar, his Ballad in A Minor was premiered at the Three Choirs festival in 1898. Like Liza Lehmann, he toured the United States, before his early death at the age of 37.