Alnight by the Rose

SSAATTBB, a cappella

“Alnight by the rose, rose; Alnight by the rose I lay.”

A sensuous harmonic wash of color expresses the tenderness of this 14th-century love poem.


Program Note

“Alnight by the rose” is the middle movement of the three-movement choral cycle “Three Medieval Lyrics”, set to 14th and 15th century English love poems. Three Medieval Lyrics was awarded second prize in “His Majestie’s Clerkes Choral Composition Competition, and was a featured work for the National Endowment for the Arts “American Masterpieces” Choral Initiative in 2006 & 2007.

As the title implies, the texts for the three pieces are medieval lyric poetry – in this case, English lyric poetry. The first, To Mistress Margaret Hussey, is by John Skelton (1460-1529). The second and third texts are anonymous – Alnight by the rose dates from the 14th century, and Westron wind from the mid-15th century.

Notes on preparation and performance

May be performed separately, or as part of the choral cycle “Three Medieval Lyrics.”  Available in three versions:  SSAATTBB, TTBB, or ATTB.


Alnight by the rose, rose, 1

Alnight by the rose I lay.

Darst2 ich nought the rose stele

And yet I bar3 the flour4 away.

1 The image of the rose as mistress was commonplace in the Middle Ages.     2 dared      3 bore      4 the flower of virginity


“…a bright, engaging work…”         Seattle Post-Intelligencer


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