On the Hill-Side

Text by Radclyffe Hall (1880–1943)

mixed voices | Elliott Chorale | $20.00

English poet and author Radclyffe (John; she went by both) Hall is most well-known for The Well of Loneliness, her lesbian novel which caused much scandal in 20th-century England and America. She herself was a lesbian and self-described "congenital invert.

"On the Hill-Side" is such a vulnerable
poem—A true distillation of unbridled love. Hall's florid description of her lover, paired with the mixed emotions that come with that love, make a tumultuous feeling of excitement, which all occurs while her partner sleeps soundly.

My setting of this poem for SATB (with divisi) is a fairly traditional choral setting, apart from a free middle section, in which each singer sings or hums their line ad libitum.

Video: premiere performance by students and faculty of Mount Allison University cond. Kaitlyn Archambault, November 25 2019, Brunton Auditorium, Mount Allison University.