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Four Basho Settings (2002)

For mixed SSAA youth choir
Texts by Basho

Commissioned by the Friends of Farnham Youth Choir
Duration: 6-7 minutes


This work is dedicated with love to my mother.

The composer wishes to extend special admiration and gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Andreas Klatt for their kindness and support.


Haiku by Matsuo Basho

I. Skylark

Skylark on moor ­
sweet song
of non-attachment.

Spring moon -
flower face
in mist.

Skylark sings all
day, and day
not long enough.


II. Cuckoo

Cuckoo -
sing, fly, sing,
then start again.

Old pond,
leap - splash -
a frog.

Beyond waves,
reaching far, the
cuckoo's song.


III. Butterfly

Wake, butterfly ­
it's late, we've miles
to go together.


IV. Dawn Flowers

While moon sets
atop the trees,
leaves cling to rain.

Fading bells -
now musky blossoms
peal in dusk.

How I long to see
among dawn flowers,
the face of God.


Portrait of Matsuo Basho

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