The Bleeding Hand

Composer Erik Branch, poet Robert Herrick

From this bleeding hand of mine,
Take this sprig of Eglantine:
Which, though sweet unto your smell,
Yet the fretful briar will tell,
He who plucks the sweets, shall prove
Many thorns to be in love.

Herrick’s pithy verses are ideal for the miniaturist. The Bleeding Hand reflects Herrick’s conceit of the blood-spattered, thorny eglantine (Love’s ardor —and sting) with its contrast of the “romantic” melody and the piquantly dissonant accompaniment. It was written for a call for scores from the Fifteen Minutes of Fame concert series by soprano/pianist Liana Valente for songs for self-accompanying soprano. She premièred the song on March 12, 2013 in a recital in Lakeland, Florida, then gave the New York première on November 17, 2013 at the Jan Hus Presbyterian Church, and subsequently performed it at the Catholic University, Washington, D.C

The Bleeding HandComposer Erik Branch, poet Robert Herrick
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