The Housewife's Lament was written in 1980 at the request of the harpsichordist Judith Norell. It is a set of variations on a 19th-century song of the same name with words from the diary of Mrs. Sarah Price:

Life is a toil and love is a trouble,
Beauty will fade and riches will flee;
Pleasures they dwindle and prices they double,
And nothing is as I would wish it to be.

Although the piece was intended for the harpsichord, I find that it works just well when played on the piano. Perhaps the ideal instrument would be an old upright piano of the kind that could be found in middle-class homes across America in the early part of the century.

2011-01-23, Christian Mondrup, Werner Icking Music Archive