Cantiga for soprano and orchestra was commissioned for Jill Gomez, who gave its first performance at the BBC Proms in 1988 with Roger Norrington. Maggie Hemingway’s text tells the grisly story of 14th-century Portuguese noblewoman Inês de Castro, murdered for her forbidden love then disinterred.  The 24-minute piece closes with a ghostly saraband, after Inês recounts her desperate story against a glittering orchestral backdrop.


“The word-setting was sumptuous and bold…the orchestral writing brilliantly assured, and fully exhibited in a couple of voiceless interludes.”
The Sunday Times (Paul Driver), 31 July 1988