Who Wrote the Book of Love? (2014)

For Baritone and String Quartet   30 minutes

Written to celebrate a friend’s birthday, Who Wrote the Book of Love? is a thirty-minute song cycle for bass-baritone and string quartet.  By turns elegiac, enigmatic, sardonic and passionate, the seventeen lyrics by Alasdair MIddleton explore love in a sequence of different poetic modes.  The titles of each – Greek Love, Persian Love, Gallant Love, Cold Love, Gypsy Love – are echoed in a prismatic array of musical colours.

This is Dove’s second work for the remarkable Canadian bass-baritone Philippe Sly, for whom he wrote Three Tennyson Songs.

Words by Alasdair Middleton

To David Evans on his 50th birthday

First performance: 25th April 2014, Dante Quartet and Philippe Sly (bass-baritone), Menier Chocolate Factory.