Arakelyan, Kristina: Two Love Songs
SATB unaccompanied (with divisions)
These short choral songs may be performed as single items, or programmed together as a beautiful pairing of opposite yet complementary reflections on the same theme. Thoughts of isolation, triggered by the austerities of the COVID lockdowns, inspired the mood of the first, You are loved. Setting her own words, the composer describes how, in an expression of love as a mutual experience, we connect with our most authentic selves. The music is tender, simple yet significant: a complete statement, the truth of which nonetheless is joyously affirmed in the sumptuous imagery and syncopated flights of Christina Rossetti’s My love is come to me, which follows. Written for the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, the Two Love Songs are immensely singable, and perfectly worked to add a strain of honest uplift and positivity to any recital of 20th- and 21st-century repertoire for SATB chorus.
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First up is Kristina Arakelyan’s Two Love Songs (SATB (div) unacc.) highly contrasting pieces both in style and subject, which I immediately found attractive and compelling The first, You are loved, is to a text written by the composer. With its gentle theme of ‘don’t despair, but be glad, for you are loved’, often set with divisi in eight parts, it moves tenderly through warm harmonies. The second piece, My love is come to me, setting a text by Christina Rossetti, has a lively rhythm in a folk-like style, bringing the set to an uplifting and positive end. Written for the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, these are lovely new pieces.
Joy Hill, Choir & Organ, October 2022
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