Songs of Peace (SATB and piano)
Scored for: SATB & piano (optional bass & drums)
Duration: 23 minutes
Other Info: Written in memory of the composer’s mother, Will Todd’s Songs of Peace is a six-movement work about love and loss. Two of the movements are scored for upper voices. Although it is not a conventional Requiem, it might be appropriate in a memorial context, but should by no means be confined to it: in many ways it is a very ‘life-affirming’ work, characterised by Todd’s recognisable jazz-infused harmonic language, memorable melodies, and powerful and personal texts. Songs of Peace is designed as a work which may be performed complete, as separate movements (two of which are scored for upper voices) or as a selection. It can be accompanied by piano alone (as written, embellished or extemporised – chord symbols are supplied where appropriate) or jazz trio (piano, bass and drums – bass and drums parts available here).
First performed by the Fairhaven Singers and Allegro, conducted by Ralph Woodward, with the Will Todd Trio, on 27 May 2012 in Little St Mary’s Church, Cambridge, UK
The overall structure of Songs of Peace gradually made sense as I worked on individual movements; I didn’t originally set out to write a six-movement piece, but these various choral songs seem to work very well together and share a certain atmosphere. The themes are peace, eternity and love. It is a work in which I remember my mother, Iris Todd, for all the wonderful things she gave me, especially a lifelong interest in choral music and worship. She adored the Ave verum text which I set in the fourth movement, and also the hymn Just as I am, which she always said she would like at her funeral, and indeed this version in a solo piano arrangement was what I played on that occasion. The voices feel like a natural addition. There is a carol for the second movement, and a soft, ethereal ‘In paradisum’ section at the end, entitled Into the stars. The first movement is the opening section of the Requiem Mass, and the Song of Peace (movement five), like the second and sixth movements, is a setting of my own text.
Songs of Peace (vocal score) by Will Todd is also available on Nkoda. Click below to access: