We always think of him as writing on a monumental scale, but he could go small too.
Thomas Allen – Love is like a shining knife in the heart…
A little Mahler at a time…
Just fabulous (but as a fan of song, I would say that wouldn’t I? :o)
Have you listened to any of the English WW1 generation song albums that are about at present (quite a lot available cheaply on Naxos)? I refer to the Butterworth, Alwyn, Finzi, Gurney, Vaughan Williams et al song compositions. The arrangements of A E Houseman poetry can be particularly heart rending.
Gosh, don’t even get me started on that one…
I’ve been listening to Butterworth’s songs a lot this week and also reviewing a novel by Wesley Stace, Charles Jessold considered as a murderer which takes the folk song revival movement, and its concert work hinterland, as its background. My personal predilection for the international School of Brahms – both Stanford and Parry wrote some amazing songs – doesn’t blind me to the superiority of that cluster.
I also love Grainger’s Kipling settings. In him and Housman, British composers had two poets who practically set themselves.
Hardy works particularly well too. The Irish poets Yeats and Ledwidge (who should be much better known that he is) are also fabulous when set- Butterworth’s setting of the latter’s: ‘Cradle Song’ is just lovely :o)
‘I love the cradle song the mothers sing
In lonely places when the twilight drops’……….
Butterworth’s: ‘Shropshire Lad’ settings can reduce me to a blubbering wreck every time!
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