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Two Loves, Op. 2


[sample score]


Alternative title: 兩種愛情,作品 2

Text by: Lord Alfred Douglas

Language: English

Year of composition: 2016/17

Instrumentation: mezzosoprano solo, piano, percussion, string orchestra

Duration: 12 mins

Prized: Firebird Composer of the Year 2017


World Premiere (1st version):

Amanda Ng (sop), Marco Leung (cond), Lance Mok & Friends Orchestra

2016 Jun 23・Lance Mok's Graduation Concert・Lee Hysan Concert Hall, CUHK, Hong Kong

World Premiere (revised version):

Suzanne Fischer (sop), Nicolas Nebout (cond), London Firebird Orchestra

2017 Mar 16・Heroics and Hijinx・St George's, Hanover Square, London, UK

Two Loves is a setting of Lord Alfred Douglas’s poem of the same name from 1894. The poem explores the nature and possibility of love through the dream of an unnamed protagonist, in which he meets two boys approaching him in the paradise garden, both claiming to be Love. The serene scene is soon stirred up into an emotional confrontation, ending with a resignation towards the helplessness of only being different in the heavily prejudiced reality.

The three characters are portrayed musically by different harmonic dialects while, being actually extensions of an inner struggle in the first-person perspective, they are unified by motivic ideas presented as the piece opens and develops along the way. In the end, a verdict is made, announced by three heavy blows hammered on the piano and the bass drum.

Is Love confined to only one form of manifestation? The original poem was one of the key pieces of evidence that convicted the poet’s lover, Oscar Wilde, of gross indecency. More than a hundred years later when this composition is written, homosexuality is legalised in many Western countries while it remains illegal in some and a social taboo in others. The composer honours those who fought for the simplest in life but were betrayed by the brutal reality, especially by hatred and intolerance. True, life is hard, but the greatest are those who make others’ easier.

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