Instrumentation: Solo Voice
Verses 16 and 17 from The Book of Ruth, starting with the words “Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee,” are achingly beautiful. They reflect the deep loyalty of the Moabite, Ruth, whose mother-in-law Naomi lost both her husband and two sons in succession. Naomi tells her daughters-in-law to go home to their mothers and shares her hope that they will find husbands there. But Ruth stayed with Naomi and went with her to Bethlehem. I set these verses for solo voice and tried, through the shaping of the melody, to convey something of the passionate character of the words, with their keening undertone. The music may be transposed depending on the tessitura of the singer.