The Twilight People (2017)

February 3rd, 2020

The Twilight People (2017)

A Setting of Seamus O’Sullivan’s The Twilight People


Mixed Choir (SSAATTBB)

fp. 23 November 2017; BBC Singers, Gergely Madaras, St Machar’s Cathedral, Aberdeen, UK

Eng.p. 15 June 2019; Jubilate, James Potter; St John the Evangelist, Iffley, Oxford, UK

The Twilight People (2017) (pdf)


The Twilight People is an atmospheric setting of Seamus O’Sullivan’s poem from his 1905 collection of the same name. The poem was beloved of English composers of the early twentieth century and was set by the likes of Ralph Vaughan Williams and Herbert Howells. My setting is more expansive then those of my earlier counterparts, but keeping the rhapsodic nature of both the poem and the zeitgeist of the English musical renaissance. I was struck by the opening line of the poem and I wanted the ‘whisper among the hazel bushes’ to be present throughout my work, and this acts as a sonic backdrop over which the rest of the narrative takes place. This work is in no way trying to replicate the music and mood of the first part of the twentieth century, but is rather a heartfelt homage to a vivid and fecund period of national artistic life.


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