A Mother’s Lament


On text of Robert Burns, A Mother’s Lament is a moving, intense meditation on a mother’s love for her son.  It was written for the Young Men’s Ensemble of the Los Angeles Children’s Choir.

A licensed copy is required for each member performing.




I didn’t expect this commission for the Young Men’s Ensemble of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus to be as serendipitous as it turned out to be.  It was the brainchild of an alum of YME, Christopher Adams-Cohen, and his mother, Antoinette Adams, and they together chose a Robert Burns poem on the bond between a mother and son for the text.

On the drive over to their home to meet and to launch the project, I remember thinking — too bad this couldn’t be a time to finally write the Robert Burns “Ca’ the Yowes” arrangement I’ve been wanting to do for years.  Too bad the family is French (I was thinking of the name “Antoinette”) and not Scottish.  But within minutes of arriving, I learned of the family’s Scottish heritage, and that they were already thinking of a Robert Burns text for this project: “A Mother’s Lament.”  I asked if I could write them two pieces, and voila, within minutes the business part of our meeting was over!

The Young Men’s Ensemble, led by Steven Kronauer, sang a beautiful premiere of the piece in May 2013 in Pasadena, CA.

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TTBB a cappella

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