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Notes on The Heart's Assurance

23 Dec 2020

News Story

The Heart’s Assurance, a Song Cycle on Poems by Sidney Keyes and Alun Lewis.

By Michael Tippet Sidney Keyes and Alun Lewis, both young poets served as soldiers in the British army during WWII. Both died on active duty. Both were established poets before being soldiers.

A dedication on the first page of the score reads “To the memory of Francesca Allinson (1902–1945)”.

Thread through this song cycle, in its creation and composition, is the conjunction of love and war. Both bearing elements of excitement, danger, fear, stimulation: The beauty of life made more enticing by the permanent shadow of loss.

Beginning with the first poem, Song, and its declaration ‘from genesis to genesis’ through to the final poem pleading to Remember your Lovers, the sequence of the song cycle creates a personal narrative. One mans journey through remembered lovers. Lovers who never stayed or were lost. A song cycle of a remembered past.

Bernadette Iglich