Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Roger Quilter

Lately, I've been listening to recordings of some vocal music by a composer named Roger Quilter. I first heard of him, and heard his English art songs, when I was in college decades ago.

Perhaps that's why it feels so nostalgic.

Quilter evidently was a certifiable loon. A genius, to be sure. But a loon. At some point he just stopped going out of his garret apartment, and was certifiably insane when he died at age seventy-five in 1953.

All that being said, he wrote exquisitely beautiful music, especially for solo voice and piano. If you've never heard his "Autumn Evening," "Three Shakespeare Songs," "Music, when soft voices die," "Now sleeps the crimson petal," and "Go, lovely Rose," it would be worth your while tracking them down.

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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