A Time of Gifts

six poems specially written by Alexander McCall Smith, set for SATB a cappella with divisi, a mixture of sentiment and humour, duration 15 minutes.

"a deliciously humorous group of songs", Highlands & Islands Arts, December 2009

Alexander McCall Smith writes:

A Time of Gifts is my third collaboration with the composer, Tom Cunningham. Some years ago I was invited to write a series of short pieces about giving for a concert in St Paul’s Cathedral in London. For that I wrote a number of very short stories – a few lines long in each case. This work represents a development of that idea, in which I have tried to say something in verse about what it is to give to others. Giving brings people into a relationship with one another that recognizes shared humanity and vulnerability. But one should not be too solemn about giving: sometimes gifts are unwanted, or awkward, or, as in one of these poems, they insist on coming back.

The six songs are published and sold by Goodmusic/Roberton. You can see the whole score and hear it played on your computer on their website.

If you'd like to listen to an individual song, you can follow these links:

1. Thoughts that come to mind play
2. The only gift play
3. My love gave me a cat play
4. A gift of time play
5. Fitting gifts play
6. His and hers play

This set was written for Cappella Nova and first performed in December 2009. You can purchase the score here.