The Broken Heart
for tenor and piano
for Tom Booth, a fine tenor
She is far from the land where
her young hero sleeps,
And lovers around her a sighing;
coldly she turns from their gaze and weeps,
For her heart in his
grave is lying.
He had lived for his love - for his country
They were all that to life had entwined him;
shall the tears of his country be dried,
Nor long will his love
stay behind him!
O, make her a grave where the sunbeams rest,
When they promise a glorious morrow;
They'll shine o'er her sleep
like a smile from the west,
From her own loved island of sorrow!
[ 5 pages, circa 3'15" ]
(1779-1852) was an Irish poet, friend of Lord Byron and P. B.
Shelley. Moore's writings range from lyric to satire, from prose
romance to history and biography. His popular Irish Melodies
appeared in ten parts between 1807 and 1835. Moore was a good
musician and skillful writer of songs, which he set to Irish tunes,
mainly of the 18th century. Moore was born in Dublin as the son of a
grocer. His background was poor and he never varnished it. In his
poem 'Epitaph on a Tuft-Hunter' he mocked snobbery:
"Heaven grant him now some
For, rest his soul! he'd
Genteelly damn'd beside a
Than sav'd in vulgar company."
at Trinity College, Dublin and London, and published his first book,
The Poetical Works of Thomas Little, in 1801. He became in
1803 a civil officer to Bermuda, where he stayed for a year, and
then returned to England after travels in the U.S. and Canada. His
Epistles, Odes and Other Poems, taken from his journeys,
appeared in 1806. It criticized Americans and and also arose moral
irritation. However, his songs, based on folk tunes, became very
popular and gained sympathy for the Irish nationalists. Best known
of them are perhaps "The Last Rose of Summer" and "Believe Me, If
All Those Endearing Young Charms."
In the 1810s Moore was
considered as important writer as Byron and Sir Walter Scott. In
1819 Moore was condemned to imprisonment because of debts - his
deputy in Bermuda misappropriated £6000, and the responsibility fell
on Moore himself. He left England with Lord John Russell for a visit
to Italy and stayed away until the debt to the Admiralty had been
paid, returning in 1822. In the next year his Loves of the Angels
became notorious for its eroticism but was financially successful.
In 1824 Moore received Byron's memoirs, but according to
some sources, he burned them with the publisher John Murray,
presumably to protect his friend. On the other hand, Leslie Marchand
claims in his biography, that Moore tried to prevent Murray
from burning the memoirs, and he actually tried to retrieve the
pages from the fire. Later Moore used some material from Byron's
manuscript and brought out the Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
(1830). In 1835 Moore was awarded a literary pension. In the same
year he published The Fudges in England. It was a light
satire on an Irish priest turned Protestant evangelist and on the
literary absurdities of the day. Moore remained a popular writer for
the rest of his life. He was awarded a Civil List pension in1850.
Moore died on February 25, 1852 in Wiltshire. He is still Ireland's
A gentle single voice begins,
broadening out into wide spaced octaves suggesting distance and
separation. The vocal line rests on a G sharp minor tonality at the
beginning in which an insistent A sharp and E natural irritate with
dissonance and repetition.
The seeming strophes of the setting
are broken by an interlude at measure 22 and again at measure 43,
after which the strophic nature of the opening musical gesture never
again returns. The song setting ends in a gentle, accompanied
recitative as the explanation for this sad tale and earnest prayer
for the lost lovers follow the exposition of this scene of
separation and "the broken heart."
Tenor Thomas Booth sang for nine seasons with the
Metropolitan Opera as a principal solo artist after studying at the
Juilliard School in New York and The Opera School of Chicago. He has
performed worldwide as a leading tenor with Operas Companies and
with Symphony Orchestras including the Stockholm Royal Philharmonic,
The Jerusalem Symphony, The New World Symphony, The Dallas Symphony,
The Warsaw Philharmonic, toured with the Mantovani Orchestra and The
New Sigmund Romberg Orchestra, The National Symphony Orchestra at
The Kennedy Center, The London Philharmonia Orchestra, The New York
City Opera, The Frankfurt Opera, The San Diego Opera, Opera de Nice
in France. He has recorded for Erato Disques, Albany Records UK and
for Decca/Argo Records. Tom is also an accomplished organist.
The score for The Broken Heart is available as
a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or
recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with
the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.
The Broken Heart