The technique of madrigal singing occurs to me to be one of the more rewarding challenges for chamber choruses.  To leap from key to key, to paint words with delicacy and accuracy, to create a choral blend both expressive and agile – all these things attracted my composing senses to the madrigal tradition.  I had wanted to set the four poems comprising Songs of Youth and Pleasure for some time.  When Joel Revzen asked for a work for the chamber chorus at Aspen, I suggested the poems as perfect for the personality of the choir and the spirit of the Aspen Festival.  The poems express joy of living in the present and suggest almost an excessive exuberance – the kind of exuberance that youth combined with beauty and opportunity can exude.  The fact that the four poems are Renaissance texts combined with my desire to compose a set of a cappella choral works reflecting the madrigal tradition produced the four Songs of Youth and Pleasure.

— Libby Larsen