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For the first movement, I was free to choose another poem to accompany this. Love is the master, by Rumi (the thirteenth-century Sufi mystic and poet) is just as fervent in its celebration of love, but in a wilder and more passionate way than the bible verses it precedes. I have used the Sufi Duyek Velveleli rhythm as a quasi 'riff' in the bass and the Turkish Zengüle mode (imagine a scale of C with a D flat and an A flat), giving the music a more Eastern flavour. The rhythms, harmonies and vocal lines start quite sedately with parts of the choir chanting 'Love is the master' in a trance-like fashion. As the music progresses all these elements become more and more intense until, fraught with irrevocable ecstasy …
The second movement, called Love abide (as well as the title of the whole piece), is much calmer and infused with a more romantic—rather than passionate—ardour than Love is the master. Flowing and interweaving scales in the organ and harp accompany most of the movement creating a calm, dream-like atmosphere. Soloists, choir and orchestra end the piece together, with intense joy and optimism.
from notes by Roxanna Panufnik © 2019