A Song in the Wood: Off the beaten track
«A Song in the Wood» aims to take the listener on an emotional journey through the many beautiful facets of love, loss, and solitude.
To take you on this journey, we venture forth into the little known realm of British composers in the early 20th century.
Benjamin Britten, at this point in time yet to find his quintessetial style, and yet full of marvelous ideas is joined by the composers Roger Quilter and Michael Head, whose sensitive and colourful music forms a most interesting contrast to the early Britten.
Recording these songs is as much a personal goal, as an effort to re-introduce the music of these composers to a wider audience once more.
Three cycles, one for each composer, form the basis for our album. A few select songs, chosen for their beauty and thematic coherence complete the program and showcase each composer’s strenghts and creativity.
Roger Quilter’s «To Julia» was written in 1905/6 and follows the traditional setup of many romantic song cycles before it. It introduces us to the common themes of innocence, purity and the timelessness of love. «Love’s Philosophy», one of Quilter’s most popular songs, was written in the same year and muses on the quintessential properties of love.
The first World War ravaged Europe and forever changed the arts and humanity itself. In 1919, young musician Michael Head composed the cycle «Over the Rim of the Moon», based on poems by Irish poet Francis Ledwidge. Ledwidge fought across the fields of Europe and was told of his great love’s death abroad. He worked through some of his immesurable sorrow in his poems - expertly set to music by Michael Head. «Dear delight» and «Why have you stolen my Delight?» were written some years later and once again pick up the themes of love and loss.
Benjamin Britten worte «On this Island» on the eve of the Second World War. As with the other cycles, love is ever present in his songs, but much less obviously so. In the England of Britten’s time, homosexuality was still a crime - a fact caused a lot of suffering for the composer and the poet Wystan Hugh Auden alike. Many half-truths and double-entendres feature in this furtive song cycle, and the music is by far the most ambitious of the program. With «The Ash Grove» und «The Sally Gardens» we chose two of the most well known songs, arranged in his very original style by the great composer.
All these songs, written in a time where the world slowly but surely descended into chaos show us that, no matter how much humanity and the arts may change - the ideal of love will remain. Even if at times only as a song in the wood.
Your money is turned into music!
In these uncertain times and daily cancellations in wake of the COVID-crisis, life of a musician is extra challenging. But we are determined to make the music go on, in one way or another!
With your kind donation, you will help pay for:
The work of two enthusiastic young Swiss artists.
Recording fees (Studio rent, sound technician)
Graphics and design
The production of the CD
Support our project and sow the seeds of fortune!
Dalùna, the Goddess of Music, is said to have travelled all across the seven kingdoms, bringing joy and unity through her music. Everywhere she performed she healed the souls and spirits of the people who had suffered in a time of hardship and uncertainty.
If we manage to bring joy to you through our music, if we manage to make you forget about the problems of day to day life for but an instant - we will have reached our goal.
«A Song in the Wood» will sooth your heart and soul!