Monday Music: Love’s Philosophy (Roger Quilter)

I’m a bit of a latecomer to Quilter, and indeed, English Art Song in general.  But last year, when Allan’s was closing down, I saw a book of Quilter art songs on special, and thought I’d take a look inside.  After all, one shouldn’t shun a whole genre without trying it.  Then I opened the book, and made a marvellous discovery – Art Song in English is basically really gorgeous poems set to music!

(yes, OK, I’m slow, but it hadn’t occurred to me.  I’ve only ever sung art-song in other languages, and hadn’t really registered that the lyrics were written by Real Poets, as opposed to lyricists…)

Anyway, having made this delicious connection, the first thing I did was to take the book along to my singing teacher and basically say “Where do I start?”  And she sang me this.

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Come Away Death (Roger Quilter)

I’ve only discovered Quilter recently, mostly because there was a book of his art song available at the Allans sale a few weeks ago and I was seduced by the prospect of singing Shakespeare’s poetry.  My friendly salesperson, who is a fellow lover of Purcell and 19th century French opera, eyed my choice with disfavour.  “Well… it’s very… pretty,” he finally said, clearly attempting diplomacy. And so it is…

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