My True Love Hath My Heart


for SATB choir a cappella (2003)

Minimum Qty: 8
SKU: T82-C2003-1 Category:



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4 min

October 20, 2003
ISU Madrigal Singers
ISU Center for the Performing Arts

Sir Philip Sidney

commissioned by Dr. James Major and the Illinois State University Madrigal Singers for the 47th annual Madrigal Dinners

to Michael James Montgomery


I composed My True Love Hath My Heart in 2003 for the Illinois State University Madrigal Singers, which I was a member of at the time. I had come across the text – and immediately fallen in love with it – that summer when I sang Jean Berger’s setting while working for the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. I was newly in love at the time, myself, and was still caught up in the novelty of the sudden swings from quiet adoration to romantic exuberance, so I decided to embody that in the score by writing in huge dynamic shifts – in some sections, nearly every note has a different dynamic marking: from mezzo-piano to forte to piano, and in the closing bars from triple forte all the way down to pianissimo. Also important to the piece is the juxtaposition of unison and extended harmonies – the lovers together and apart – which pervades the work, and which, despite the (happily) tempestuous dynamic shifts and the longing of the extended harmonies, finally settles quietly on a peaceful and contented perfect fifth.

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