Alnight by the Rose, Thomas

SATB divisi, a capella

“Alnight by the rose, rose; Alnight by the rose I lay.”

A sensuous harmonic wash of color expresses the tenderness of this 14th-century love poem.

Program Note

“Alnight by the rose” is the middle movement of the three-movement choral cycle “Three Medieval Lyrics”, set to 14th and 15th century English love poems. Three Medieval Lyrics was awarded second prize in “His Majestie’s Clerkes Choral Composition Competitio, and was a featured work for the National Endowment for the Arts “American Masterpieces” Choral Initiative in 2006 & 2007.

As the title implies, the texts for the three pieces are medieval lyric poetry – in this case, English lyric poetry. The first, To Mistress Margaret Hussey, is by John Skelton (1460-1529). The second and third texts are anonymous – Alnight by the rose dates from the 14th century, and Westron wind from the mid-15th century.

“…a bright, engaging work…”                         Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Notes on preparation and performance

May be performed separately, or as part of the choral cycle “Three Medieval Lyrics.”  Available in three versions:  SSAATTBB, TTBB, or ATTB.


Alnight by the rose, rose, 1

Alnight by the rose I lay.

Darst2 ich nought the rose stele

And yet I bar3 the flour4 away.


1 The image of the rose as mistress was commonplace in the Middle Ages.     2 dared      3 bore      4 the flower of virginity

Contact Karen P. Thomas to purchase this score.

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About Karen P. Thomas

Karen P. Thomas, composer and conductor, is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Seattle Pro Musica. Her compositions are performed and broadcast throughout the world, by groups such as The Hilliard Ensemble and the Vocal Consort of Brussels. Her works are published by Lucis Music and Santa Barbara Music Publishing, and have been featured at numerous ACDA and AGO conferences. A prize-winning composer, she has received grants from the NEA, The American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and Meet the Composer, among numerous others. As a conductor, Ms. Thomas has produced nine critically-acclaimed CDs, and received the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence and the ASCAP-Chorus America Award. She has appeared as guest conductor at international festivals in Europe and North America, and the NPR radio show Saint Paul Sunday. She received the 2012 Outstanding Choral Director Award for Washington State, and currently serves on the boards of the Pacific NW Chapter for the Recording Academy (Grammy), the American Choral Directors Association (NW Division), and the Greater Seattle Choral Consortium.