Here’s something so soothing that it will probably send you wafting back to sleep again, but it truly is gorgeous. If you’ve only ever heard the Nana Mouskouri version, please do give this one a listen, because it’s really quite different.
I hadn’t thought of this song for years, until one of the girls in my singing class sang it for us last week. It actually brings back very pleasant memories for me of a period more than two decades ago when I briefly shared a flat with a friend of mine who happened to be a classical guitarist. We weren’t often home at the same time, but occasionally when we were, we would spend an evening playing duets. This was one of the first songs my friend pulled out of his repertoire to play with – I loved it because it was beautiful, and also because it was blissfully easy to sight-read – it moves so slowly that one has plenty of time to figure out the next note before it arrives. Since my friend was a much better musician than I was, this came in very handy! I sort of wish that household had lasted a bit longer, because those evenings were really fantastic fun.
This recording, by Youngok Shin appeals to me because of its gentleness and because she sings it very plainly and not too operatically. You can make this piece wonderfully dramatic if you have the low notes for it (and here is Janet Baker doing just that), and that’s probably what I’d do with it now, because I can’t resist a dramatic low note, but the sweetness in Shin’s version I think is exactly what this piece of music wants. I could listen to it repeatedly… and indeed, I have done so while writing this post!
To my delight, I discovered while writing this post that the King’s Singers have also had a play with this piece of music. Unsurprisingly, this is a very different arrangement, being a capella and choral, but it’s also rather stunning – so much so, that I can’t resist embedding it here as a bonus second piece of music for Monday. (This version won’t wake you up, either…)
(I do wish I could find a version with classical guitar accompaniment, however. There’s just something about classical guitar.) (Possibly, that something is the fact that said classical guitarist friend was very gorgeous and I had a crush on him for years, but that’s not a bad thing, really…)