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Alfred, Lord Tennyson – October 18, 2009 | Walter Hall, Toronto
Settings of the poetry of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-92)

date: October 18, 2009

In 1992, we presented a concert in commemoration of the centenary of the death of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, long remembered as Queen Victoria’s Poet Laureate.  This year (2009) we were able to repeat the programme in honour of the bicentenary of his birth.  Settings of his poetry ranged from his own time to the present day (two excerpts from Derek Holman’s fine cycle, The Centred Passion).  We also made use of a handsome collection discovered in the library of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music: Songs from the Published Writings of Alfred Tennyson set to Music by Various Composers, published in London by C. Kegan Paul and Co. in 1879. This sumptuous volume was dedicated to Queen Victoria and edited by the Master of the Queen’s Musick, William Cusins.  Other rarities in the concert included songs by Emily, the poet’s wife, and by one of their closest friends, the humorist and artist, Edward Lear.  As in 1992, selected poems of Tennyson (including The Lady of Shalott and Ulysses) were read by two distinguished actors; this time they were Fiona Reid and Christopher Newton.  At the beginning of the second half, we played a recording of the poet himself reading lines from Maud.

SONG ARTIST COMPOSER POET
Sweet and low Hatfield, Virginia, soprano; McMurtry, Lynne, mezzo; Barrett, Michael, tenor; Dobson, Alexander, baritone; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Sir Joseph Barnby Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
The Poet’s Song (Songbook of 1879) McMurtry, Lynne, mezzo; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Parry, Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
The Milkmaid’s Song (Songbook of 1879) Hatfield, Virginia, soprano; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Stanford, Sir Charles Villiers Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
The lights and shadows fly (The Window) Barrett, Michael, tenor; Ralls, Stephen, piano Sullivan, Sir Arthur Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
Vine, vine and eglantine (The Window) Barrett, Michael, tenor; Ralls, Stephen, piano Sullivan, Sir Arthur Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
The Day-Dream: The Departure (Songbook of 1879) Hatfield, Virginia, soprano; Ralls, Stephen, piano Scharwenka, Xaver Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
Queen Mary’s Song McMurtry, Lynne, mezzo; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Elgar, Sir Edward Elgar Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
Come into the garden, Maud Barrett, Michael, tenor; Ralls, Stephen, piano Balfe, Michael Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
A voice by the cedar tree (Songbook of 1879) Dobson, Alexander, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Saint-Säens, Camille Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
Go not, happy day (Songbook of 1879) Barrett, Michael, tenor; Ralls, Stephen, piano Liszt, Franz Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
Go not, happy day (Cycle of Songs from Tennyson’s Maud) Dobson, Alexander, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Somervell, Sir Arthur Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
I have led her home (Cycle of Songs from Tennyson’s Maud) Dobson, Alexander, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Somervell, Sir Arthur Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
Come into the garden, Maud (Cycle of Songs from Tennyson’s Maud) Dobson, Alexander, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Somervell, Sir Arthur Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
INTERMISSION
Allegretto scherzando, Op.46/2 (Three Chamber Duets) Ralls, Stephen / Ubukata, Bruce, piano Charles Edward Horsley n/a
Minnie and Winnie McMurtry, Lynne, mezzo; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Tennyson, Lady Emily Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
Edward Gray Barrett, Michael, tenor; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Lear, Edward Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
Tears, idle tears McMurtry, Lynne, mezzo; Ralls, Stephen, piano Vaughan Williams, Ralph Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
Now sleeps the crimson petal Hatfield, Virginia, soprano; Ralls, Stephen, piano Rorem, Ned Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
Far – Far – Away Hatfield, Virginia, soprano; Ralls, Stephen, piano Rorem, Ned Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
Now fades the last, long streak of snow (The Centred Passion) Dobson, Alexander, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Holman, Derek Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
Thy voice is on the rolling air (The Centred Passion) Dobson, Alexander, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Holman, Derek Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
Crossing the Bar Hatfield, Virginia, soprano; McMurtry, Lynne, mezzo; Barrett, Michael, tenor; Dobson, Alexander, baritone; Ubukata, Bruce, organ; Ralls, Stephen, conductor Ives, Charles Tennyson, Alfred, Lord