Death be not proud
was written at John Scott’s suggestion as a work for Remembrance Sunday. It was first performed in November 2005 by Wells Cathedral Choir and Matthew Owens together with its companion piece, Come let us pity not the dead
. The latter takes its text from the collected works of Drummond Allison, published a quarter century after the poet was killed in action in Italy in December 1943. ‘My friend Peter Porter introduced me to Allison’, Burgon recalls. ‘Come let us pity not the dead
is a powerfully moving text, especially when you realize that its author died at such a young age during the war.’ The composer’s economy of writing allows Allison’s plea to pity Death but not the dead to speak from the beyond the grave.
from notes by Andrew Stewart © 2006