The Good-morrow, which was written in 1971, is a setting for mezzo-soprano and piano of five poems by John Donne. These are not songs in the closed sense: the settings deliberately blur one poem into the next, so as to form a little musical drama about a passionate but light-hearted love-affair. The model for this piece was the beautiful song-cycle The voice of love (1966) by Nicholas Maw, who was my teacher from 1968 until 1971, and whose influence upon my development was both strong and fruitful. My debt to Maw (who died in 2009) is great, and this song-cycle was my grateful acknowledgement of it.
The Good-morrow was first performed in 1986 at the Purcell Room, London, by Linda Hibberd and Giles Swayne.
1. I wonder, by my troth 2. 'Tis true, 'tis day 3. Come live with me, and be my love 4. So, so, breake off this last lamenting kiss 5. Now thou hast lov'd me one whole day