George Lloyd: Requiem & Psalm 130
The pencil scoring of the work was completed in January 1998, after which he was unable to work at all for some weeks, but he was able to produce the final score in ink by May of the same year, and he completed the proof reading in early June. He died 3 weeks later. George Lloyd adored singers and the expressive power of the human voice, and it was as a composer for the voice that he made his name with his opera Iernin, which had an exceptionally long run in London in the 1930s. He abandoned operatic writing after his traumatic experiences in the Second World War, but to continued to compose and he went on to write symphonies and concertos, together with chamber works, all of which were performed and recorded.
The Lloyd Requiem is a setting of the standard Latin text. The usual end of a Requiem is theÂ Libera Me, but this is not considered essential and Lloyd preferred to end the piece on a hopeful and positive note, so concludes with Lux Aeternae. Although Lloyd was known for his ebullient and energetic climaxes, this work by contrast is generally quiet in tone. It is Italian in style, and moves between modal and romantic idioms.
“A lovely remembrance of a warm-hearted composer who wrote against the spirit of the times and whose music finally met success” Rob Barnett
“it is hard to remain unmoved by the typically Lloydian combination of disarming simplicity and life-affirming optimism, especially in its poignant, valedictory context” Paul Conway
“his chorus exclaim as well as whisper; soloists step forward from their ranks; the style ranges from richly Romantic to false-Medieval (in the Hostias and Sanctus'); the organ subtly underpins here and thunders there” Martin Anderson