The last words of famous people, whether real or invented, exert a strange fascination. Breaking with the tradition that a song cycle is a setting of poetry, Timothy Bowers has chosen the last words of fourteen famous (in one case infamous) characters from history and two comic/ironic epitaphs by Byron as his texts. Each collection provides a short (c 7’) concert work with settings ranging from fifteen seconds to five minutes duration.
Book 1 is for Soprano and Piano. Two poets (Gertrude Stein and Emily Dickenson) followed by two martyrs - St Joan of Arc and Anne Boleyn.