With Songs of Love as its title, the programme charted a vocal range of responses to the emotion responsible for inspiring more music than any other: from simple stories to passionate outbursts, brooding melancholy to deepest devotion.
Brahms was usually desperately in or out of love and his Liebeslieder Waltzes (opus 52) for chorus and four-hand piano have an unexpected zeal and geniality, dramatising the variety of moods through characteristically brilliant key, rhythm and dynamic changes.
Three folk songs by Holst,Vaughan Williams and James MacMillan introduced a more traditional but no less romantic flavour to The Jay’s evocation of love.
Slightly off theme (at least in terms of secular love), Stanford‘s terrific Magnificat for double chorus was completed in September 1918 and prompted by affection for composer C H Parry who had died the year before publication.
And then there was a beautiful arrangement of Billy Joel‘s affecting And So It Goes.