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The Care of a Genius | Walter Hall, Toronto
The songs - and other music - of Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934)

date: April 29, 2007

Elgar’s solo songs are a virtually unknown part of his output  –  except for the Sea Pictures,  which are normally heard in their orchestral guise.  Our superb soloist, Susan Platts, presented them with piano accompaniment  –  which was how four of them had their first London performance in 1899, by Dame Clara Butt with the composer playing.  The whole cycle formed a framework for our programme, which also included five other Elgar songs, some of his instrumental music and songs by other composers who were known to him.  Narrative material focussed on the three “muses” of his career:  his mother, Ann; his wife, Alice  –  and, right at the end, the violinist Vera Hockman who, more than a decade after his wife’s death, inspired his last burst of composition and the sketches of a 3rd Symphony.  Throughout the concert, the words of Elgar himself were read by one of our Honorary Patrons, the distinguished actor and director Christopher Newton, C.M.

Song Artist Composer Poet
Is she not passing fair? Tomkins, Giles, baritone; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Elgar, Sir Edward Charles d’Orléans, trans. Costello, Louisa
Sea Slumber-Song, Op.37/1 (Sea Pictures) Platts, Susan, mezzo; Ralls, Stephen, piano Elgar, Sir Edward Noel, Roden Berkeley Wriothesley
Salut d’amour, Op. 12 Johnston, Mark, violin; Ralls, Stephen, piano Elgar, Sir Edward n/a
Ich schwebe, Op.48/2 Mercer, Shannon, soprano; Ralls, Stephen, piano Strauss, Richard Henckell, Karl
To Lucasta on Going to the Wars (English Lyrics, Set 3) Tomkins, Giles, baritone; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Parry, Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Lovelace, Richard
Proud Maisie (English Lyrics, Set 5) Mercer, Shannon, soprano; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Parry, Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Scott, Sir Walter
Through the Ivory Gate (English Lyrics, Set 3) Tomkins, Giles, baritone; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Parry, Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Sturgis, Julian
Allegro piacevole (Serenade for Strings, Op.20) Ralls, Stephen / Ubukata, Bruce, piano Elgar, Sir Edward n/a
In Haven: Capri, Op.37/2 (Sea Pictures) Platts, Susan, mezzo; Ralls, Stephen, piano Elgar, Sir Edward Elgar, C.Alice
Queen Mary’s Song Mercer, Shannon, soprano; Ralls, Stephen, piano Elgar, Sir Edward Tennyson, Alfred, Lord
The Shepherd’s Song Mercer, Shannon, soprano; Ralls, Stephen, piano Elgar, Sir Edward Pain, Barry
Was it some golden star? Op.59/5 Tomkins, Giles, baritone; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Elgar, Sir Edward Parker, Sir Gilbert
Sabbath Morning at Sea, Op.37/3 (Sea Pictures) Platts, Susan, mezzo; Ralls, Stephen, piano Elgar, Sir Edward Browning, Elizabeth Barrett
INTERMISSION
The Hedge of Briar Tomkins, Giles, baritone; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Bantock, Sir Granville Taylor, Helen
Where corals lie, Op.37/4 (Sea Pictures) Platts, Susan, mezzo; Ralls, Stephen, piano Elgar, Sir Edward Garnett, Richard
Pretty ring time Mercer, Shannon, soprano; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Warlock, Peter Shakespeare, William
Twilight Fancies Mercer, Shannon, soprano; Ubukata, Bruce, piano Delius, Frederick Björnson, Björnsterne trans. Copeland, F.S.
To the Children (The Starlight Express) Tomkins, Giles, baritone; Ralls, Stephen, piano Elgar, Sir Edward Blackwood, Algernon
Piacevole (poco andante) (String Quartet, Op.83) Johnston, Mark, violin; Wilks, Alexa, violin; Tang, Eve, viola; Steeves, Sarah, cello Elgar, Sir Edward n/a
The Swimmer, Op.37/5 (Sea Pictures) Platts, Susan, mezzo; Ralls, Stephen, piano Elgar, Sir Edward Gordon, Adam Lindsay
In Haven: Capri, Op.37/2 (Sea Pictures)   – ENCORE Mercer, Shannon, soprano; Platts, Susan, mezzo; Tomkins, Giles, baritone; Johnston, Mark, violin; Wilks, Alexa, violin; Tang, Eve, viola; Steeves, Sarah, cello; Ralls, Stephen, piano Elgar, Sir Edward Elgar, C.Alice