Ivor Gurney: Poetry, Music & Imagination

SKU: C077
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Nicola Harrison


The result of years of study, teaching and performance, and informed throughout by the author's love of poetry, Nicola Harrison invites the singer to think more expansively about the way they approach and sing English Song. The result of her work is unique, refreshing, and is certain to change the way singers perform and experience these classic songs In this second volume (of a planned series of Wordsmith's Guides - the first volume on Roger Quilter is published simultaneously), focusing on the music of Ivor Gurney, she examines the poetry and lyrics of their songs, taking into account the context in which the words were written - the symbolism, mythologies, religion, philosophy, and the many other influences on the writer - digging deep into the text with fascinating results. Her exploration of English Song is entertaining, witty and illuminating, exploring the magical relationship of words and music, and the way each separate art is painted by the other. To this end, each song is offered as a mini narrative that invites the singer into a new world, firing the imagination and guiding them to make their own interpretations. Offering both the well-known and the lesser known songs of these two composers, Nicola Harrison encourages a deeper exploration of the repertoire. Here, the singer will find new songs to perform - and a fresh and authentic way of performing them. Further, those studying the literature may well find new insights and also a new understanding of the myth and subtle meaning of the lyrics.



Biographical Notes

A Personal Note Note on Song Order

Songs, alphabetical:

All Night under the Moon

Aspens, The

Black Stitchel

Bread and Cherries

By a Bierside

Cloths of Heaven, The

Cradle Song, A

Desire in Spring

Down by the Salley Gardens

Epitaph, An

Even such is Time

Far Country, The

Far in a Western Brookland

Fiddler of Dooney, The

Fields are Full, The

Folly of being Comforted, The

Golden Friends

In Flanders

Is my team ploughing?

I will go with my father a-ploughing

Loveliest of Trees

Ludlow Fair


On the idle hill of summer

Orpheus with his Lute


Scribe, The

Severn Meadows

Singer, The




The Lent Lily

Tis time, I think, by Wenlock town

Twa Corbies, The

Twice a Week

Under the Greenwood Tree

When I was one and twenty

When Smoke Stood Up from Ludlow


Song List by Publication


Printed Music

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