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A Song of Enchantment | Walter Hall, Toronto
Settings of the poetry of the English poet, Walter de la Mare (1873-1956)

date: January 13, 2008

Walter de la Mare (1873-1956) was one of the foremost of the self-described “Georgian Poets”; other members of the group included Rupert Brooke, W.H.Davies, John Drinkwater, D.H.Lawrence, John Masefield, Robert Graves and James Elroy Flecker.  As the critic Stephen Banfield has written, their work anticipated “an inter-war ambience … primarily one of lyrical retreat; two of the identifiable forms which that retreat took … are a retreat to the country and a retreat to the fantasy world of childhood”.  The name of the group shows that they were certainly not Victorian poets.  De la Mare’s poems were set more frequently than those of any other contemporary poet, not excluding A.E.Housman and W.B.Yeats.  Our concert included a number of settings by Armstrong Gibbs and Herbert Howells, both of whom the poet considered among the finest composers who had attempted his works.  Two songs (including the encore) were taken from Britten’s cycle of youthful compositions, Tit for Tat.  We commissioned a new setting (from John Greer) of The Listeners, one of De la Mare’s best-known poems which, unaccountably, appeared not to have been previously attempted.

Song Artist Composer Poet
A Song of Shadows Mercer, Shannon, soprano; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Gibbs, Cecil Armstrong Mare, Walter de la
Silver Polegato, Brett, baritone; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Gibbs, Cecil Armstrong Mare, Walter de la
The Mad Prince Wiliford, Lawrence, tenor; Ralls, Stephen, piano Gibbs, Cecil Armstrong Mare, Walter de la
Tit for Tat (Tit for Tat) Polegato, Brett, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Britten, Benjamin Mare, Walter de la
The Wanderer Mercer, Shannon, soprano; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Gibbs, Cecil Armstrong Mare, Walter de la
Mistletoe Mercer, Shannon, soprano; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Gibbs, Cecil Armstrong Mare, Walter de la
Take heed, young heart Wiliford, Lawrence, tenor; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Gibbs, Cecil Armstrong Mare, Walter de la
The Birthnight, Op.13a/4 (To a Poet) Polegato, Brett, baritone; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Finzi, Gerald Mare, Walter de la
The Scribe Polegato, Brett, baritone; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Gurney, Ivor Mare, Walter de la
An Epitaph Wiliford, Lawrence, tenor; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Gurney, Ivor Mare, Walter de la
The Lady Caroline Wiliford, Lawrence, tenor; Ralls, Stephen, piano Howells, Herbert Mare, Walter de la
De la Mare’s Pavan (Lambert’s Clavichord) Ubukata, Bruce, piano Howells, Herbert n/a
The Three Cherry Trees: Siciliana Mercer, Shannon, soprano; Ralls, Stephen, piano Howells, Herbert Mare, Walter de la
King David Polegato, Brett, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Howells, Herbert Mare, Walter de la
INTERMISSION
Dusk (Dance Suite) Ralls, Stephen / Ubukata, Bruce, piano Gibbs, Cecil Armstrong n/a
Arabia Wiliford, Lawrence, tenor; Ralls, Stephen, piano Browne, W.Denis Mare, Walter de la
Another Spring, Op.93/2 (Another Spring) Mercer, Shannon, soprano; Ralls, Stephen, piano Berkeley, Lennox Mare, Walter de la
Afraid, Op.93/3 (Another Spring) Mercer, Shannon, soprano; Ralls, Stephen, piano Berkeley, Lennox Mare, Walter de la
Three Sisters (Eight Epitaphs) Polegato, Brett, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Chanler, Theodore Mare, Walter de la
Ann Poverty (Eight Epitaphs) Polegato, Brett, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Chanler, Theodore Mare, Walter de la
Be very quiet now (Eight Epitaphs) Polegato, Brett, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Chanler, Theodore Mare, Walter de la
The Old House Mercer, Shannon, soprano; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Howells, Herbert Mare, Walter de la
Fare Well (Georgian Songs) Polegato, Brett, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Holloway, Robin Mare, Walter de la
The Listeners Wiliford, Lawrence, tenor; Ralls, Stephen, piano Greer, John Mare, Walter de la
A Song of Enchantment (Tit for Tat) – ENCORE Polegato, Brett, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Britten, Benjamin Mare, Walter de la