'Still Falls the Rain' is perhaps Edith Sitwell’s greatest poem. Maconchy set the poem for double choir, unaccompanied, with some antiphonal writing. The recurrence of the phrase ‘still falls the rain’ throughout the poem is echoed in the music and helps to give shape and coherence to it. After the impassioned and tragic character of the main part of the poem, it ends on a calmer, even hopeful note (the Dawn after the Night raids perhaps).
It was commissioned by the Chelmsford Festival and first performed there on 22 May 1985 by the BBC singers, conducted by John Poole, in Chelmsford Cathedral.