Monday, June 04, 2007

Come into the Garden, Maud

I love Tennyson. I always have. I love him because there is so much music in his poetry, and once in a while the music makes itself so obvious to me that I just have to write it down. A few years ago I wrote a setting of section XXII from Tennyson's 1855 monodrama Maud after found a tiny shirt-pocket-sized American edition from 1877 of it in a used book store. This is the cover (how could anyone resist such a thing?). This is (at least on my computer) the actual size of the book.

Here's a 5-minute excerpt (the whole piece is 14 minutes long) from a performance given by baritone Brian Yakey and pianist Sonny Pickowitz.

Here's a peek inside the book: the first page of the text of section XXII (the part on the recorded excerpt).

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Anonymous said...

That book is adorable. I love the designs on the cover and the color.

I'm amazed that you can read poetry and have musical compositions spring to mind.

viola power said...

And her eI thought Maude was just another character played by Bea Arthur.

Isn't the Britten Tenor, Horn and Strings piece based on Tennyson?

Elaine Fine said...

I didn't realize that the Nocturne from the Britten Serenade was a setting of a Tennyson poem (the man obviously had excellent taste in poetry). And then, when I looked up the text on Wikipedia I noticed that the Ben Jonson "Hymn" that begins "Queen and huntress, chaste and fair" is a poem that I also set to music.

Boy, that Serenade has a great bunch of poems! I haven't heard it in years. I guess I always paid more attention to the horn than to the voice. Now I'll have to listen to it with new ears. Thanks for mentioning it.