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Cattley, Sarah: A Square and Candle-Lighted Boat. Baritone and piano

Ref: Y366 ISMN: 9790220228094 Categories: , , By:


Song Cycle for baritone and piano to texts by Frances Cornford

1 Bedroom Dawn
2 The Coast: Norfolk
3 Bicker’s Cottage
4 The Country Bedroom
5 Waking in the Attic Bedroom

Written for baritone Roderick Williams and pianist Susie Allan to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ralph Vaughan Williams, the five Frances Cornford settings of A Square and Candle-Lighted Boat further enhance Sarah Cattley’s reputation as an exciting young composer acutely sensitive to the nuances of English poetry. In addition to familiar sources ranging from ‘anon’ to George Mackay Brown, she has found inspiration in the work of women writers including Charlotte Brontë, Fredegond Shove, Moyra Tourlamain and Ursula Vaughan Williams. The finely tuned voice of Cambridge poet Frances Cornford (1886–1960) appealed especially for the touching immediacy of its insights, its probing of emotions from a woman’s viewpoint, and its wide human sympathy. In creative antithesis to the Vaughan Williams Songs of Travel, for which it is intended as a companion piece, a love of home is the theme of the cycle, its domestic interiors and country views illuminated in the warm tones and vivid portrayals of Cattley’s music. Performances at Thaxted and Paxton preceded a London premiere on 12 October 2022, marking the occasion of Vaughan Williams’s birth 150 years ago to the day.

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