While in most verse the poetic voice—although not necessarily identifiable—is at least single (or clearly divided in dialogue), the poetry of E E Cummings can give the impression in its more fractured and waywardly punctuated moments of two or more voices struggling to say different things at once. It was this built-in counterpoint while first led Mark Edgley Smith to consider setting Cummings’s poems chorally. The Five Madrigals to poems by e e cummings form a palindrome in terms of the style of the five movements. At the centre lies the simple lyric ‘love is more thicker than forget’ which was the first of the movements to be written. The description of these pieces as ‘madrigals’ may be taken (with a nod in the direction of sixteenth-century models) to indicate a more contrapuntal, virtuosic approach than might be suggested by the term ‘choruses’.
from notes by Jeremy Summerly © 2006