Collection, The


by Carl Davis

unaccompanied SATB chorus
Mixed Voices

Commissioned by the John Lewis Partnership to mark the completion of the major development of the Peter Jones Department Store in Sloane Square.

First Performance
15.9.04: Cadogan Hall, London SW1 (private concert): Cavendish Singers/Manvinder Rattan

Score in preparation

Programme Notes

I am thrilled to participate in the celebrations of the stunning renovation of Peter Jones, one of my favourite stores, which I have used happily for over four decades. With fashion in mind, I devised a group of four choral songs with texts by four very diverse poets: Keats, Shakespeare, Browning and Mary Robinson, in an attempt to portray the four seasons, not only in terms of weather, but by mood and circumstance. The correspondence with seasons in the life of a store is fully intentional! The setting of Keats’ To Autumn is rich, heavy and slow throughout with the low end of the choir, the basses, divided. By contrast, Winter in Shakespeare’s song from As You Like IT combines bitterness with a forced jollity. The Spring song by Browning reflects some of the strong feelings I have when I am away from England for long. I couldn’t resist a climactic chord on ‘Fine, careless rapture!’. The final song, for Summer, is by a relatively unknown poet, Mary Robinson. A woman in the late 18th century describes simply what she sees from her window. It could be Sloane Square today. Carl Davis 4th August, 2004

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