Midnight Closes by Charlotte Bray for Soprano, Clarinet, Cello and Piano.

  1. A Thunderstorm in Town
  2. I Say, 'I'll Seek Her'
  3. Faintheart in a Railway Train

This work was composed in 2010 and first performed on 11 November 2010 at the Sheffield Theatre Studio in Sheffield, UK, by Eleanor Dennis (soprano), William Stafford (clarinet), Tim Lowe (cello) and Gary Matthewman (piano).

Commissioned by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust for the Monday Night Platform 2010.

Programme Notes

Although better known during his lifetime for his novels, Thomas Hardy always aspired to being a poet and claimed to have written novels solely to make a living in his early years. ‘Loving-kindness’ was one of Hardy’s favourite expressions, and it is a feeling which suffuses many of his poems. This is certainly reflected in the collection set here. Drawn to the fun, light-hearted and witty nature of the poetry, it is radical yet truly timeless.

The three instrumental interludes were written to sit alongside Midnight Closes, which may be performed by soprano and piano alone. These short pieces take inspiration from the Thomas Hardy poems set in the song cycle. Small fragments from the songs were used as starting points in the composition of each piece.

Duration: 12 minutes