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Sample Pages for SATB (with divisi) & piano with optional bass, drums & saxophone
Text: English (Nils Peterson)
Duration: c13 minutes (3 movements)
Difficulty: 4/5

Will Todd’s Songs of Love is a three-movement work exploring love through musical settings of beautiful poetry by Nils Peterson, based on words of Greek origin (two female poets and one anonymous lyric). From impassioned declaration, to sensual imagery and sorrowful remembrance of love lost, the work takes the performer and listener on an emotional journey to which Todd’s characteristic luscious harmonies, melodic craftmanship, and mastery of varied, often jazz-influenced styles are particularly suited. Songs of Love may be performed complete or as separate movements, accompanied by piano alone (as written, embellished or extemporised – chord symbols are supplied throughout) or jazz trio (piano, bass and drums) with optional soprano or alto saxophone (parts available here).

Commissioned by Elena Sharkova for the Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale. First performed on 9 June 2012 at California Theatre, San Jose, USA by the Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale, conducted by Elena Sharkova.

Recommended recording: Footprints by Will Todd Ensemble and Wellensian Consort (Tyalgum Press: TYA006)

Composer's note
After working with conductor Elena Sharkova on a performance of my Mass in Blue in 2011, I was delighted to be commissioned by her to write another jazz-choral work for her choir. She asked if I would consider three poems on the subject of love by Californian based poet Nils Peterson. I found the poems instantly inspiring and set about creating Songs of Love. I was thrilled to play at the first performance in California and to meet the poet Nils Peterson in person in 2012. The first movement needs to have a quiet momentum with sustained vocal textures above the repeating piano groove. In the second movement the choir should give us an ecstatic energy in this fast moving jazz waltz tempo. The final movement ‘I sing because...’ should begin gently and gradually grow in power as the different parts and textures are added. In the final bars the music should hang and shimmer as the piano plays the final figures ad lib.

Will Todd
English composer and performer Will Todd is well known for his beautiful and exciting music, encompassing choral works large and small, opera, musical theatre and orchestral pieces, as well as jazz compositions and chamber works. Best known for his choral works, his Mass in Blue has been performed hundreds of times by choirs all around the world. Notable smaller works for choir include the anthem The Lord is my shepherd, available for both upper and mixed voices, and his arrangement of Amazing Grace, which was performed at President Obama’s Inauguration Day prayer service and as part of the BBC’s Nelson Mandela Thanksgiving Service. He has collaborated with award winning choirs The Sixteen and Tenebrae, as well as with the BBC Singers and Concert Orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Opera Holland Park, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, The Bach Choir, St Martin’s Voices and the Genesis Foundation. Will’s music continues to be in demand by performers amateur and professional, and he enjoys a busy international schedule of commissions, performances and conducting appearances.

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