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Gurney, Ivor: Ludlow and Teme for Tenor Voice. Score (Piano part)


For Tenor, String Quartet and Piano. Critical edition by Philip Lancaster.

Ivor Gurney’s masterpiece has a complex textual history, which the leading Gurney scholar Philip Lancaster has thoroughly explored to create a definitive text of the work with extensive critical apparatus. The composer’s revisions and variants are clearly and comprehensively presented, and the edition is compatible with the composer’s arrangement of the song cycle for voice and piano.

Recorded by James Gilchrist on Linn CKD 431 (the premiere recording using the composer’s revised and corrected version from Philip Lancaster’s critical edition)

Far in a Western Brookland (D flat – G flat)
The Lent Lily (E – A)
Ludlow Fair (E – G)
On the idle hill of summer (F – A)
‘Tis time, I think (F – G flat)
When I was one and twenty (E – G)
When smoke stood up from Ludlow (D – G sharp)

This new critical edition has attempted to resolve ‘ambiguities in the original scores’, largely arising from the very unusual circumstances of the work’s publication.

The work was submitted to the publishers, Stainer & Bell, in October 1923, by which time Gurney had been in a mental asylum for more than a year.

The 14-page Introduction gives fascinating insights into early influences on this work, including Vaughan Williams’ On Wenlock Edge, as well as a history of the revisions. The ‘sources’ section details the haphazard, and often random, events that accompanied the material survival of Gurney’s creative output.

The sixteen pages of textual commentary at the end are meticulously detailed, leaving the full score of the work very clear with the occasional ossia.

This score is essential for any ensemble of tenor, string quartet and piano planning a performance of this important work, ‘long recognised as one of the outstanding settings of English poetry by any twentieth-century composer’.

Sue Anderson, Singing Voice of The Association of Teachers of Singing

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