"In 2000, the poet Tony Harrison, to cheer me up during a troubled period of my life, sent me a copy of Goethe’s poem. I began to sketch music for it then, and finished it in 2003. It is set for mixed chorus and strings. A winding, forlorn cello figure, like a lost soul, leads to a softer, tender violin theme that evokes the healing power of music to the troubled spirit. The hushed chorus enters a cappella, and the forlorn cello figure is developed as they describe the illusory nature of the “splendid” world. The “healing” theme returns, now elaborated by the sopranos, and the whole chorus joins them, building a sustained message of hope and thanks for the regenerative power of music and love.
This short piece is fondly dedicated to my friends Jane and David Fanshawe. It was commissioned by the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and first performed by them in Poole on 17 April 2004."