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Jolliffe, Edmund: Sweet stay awhile


SATB unaccompanied (with divisions)

Although the English madrigal has been fairly described by John Rutter as a completed historical form, its younger sibling the partsong still flourishes in the hands of sympathetic composers like Edmund Jolliffe, who can clothe secular texts with music a cappella that fits their sentiments like a glove. In fact John Donne’s verse, though of a later period, receives a setting that might even be described as madrigalean in its sensitive response to verbal rhythm and feeling. And for anyone who treasures the heritage of music for chorus by English composers such as Walton and Britten, and indeed Rutter himself, Jolliffe’s command of a tonal idiom that is rich in sensuous detail yet also broadly appealing is an additional pleasure.

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