Composer: Ralph Vaughan Williams
Two Vocal Duets for Soprano, Baritone and Piano with Violin & Opt. String Quartet (No. 1 only)
1. The Last Invocation
2. The Love-Song of the Birds
Publisher: Stainer & Bell
The Two Vocal Duets, for ‘soprano, baritone and violin with accompaniment of pianoforte’, are important as being the first completed settings of Whitman by the composer, begun soon after his initial sketches for A Sea Symphony, and performed in 1904. Though there is a certain Wagnerian influence, the lyricism of these works is essentially English, and characteristically that of VW in particular. For the premiere, he provided an additional accompaniment of second violin, viola and cello ad libitum. Material for the second song is lost, but parts for the first are included with the score, though the composer considered the trio version as definitive, and the string-quartet experiment was not repeated at subsequent performances. Recorded by Mary Bevan (soprano), Johnny Herford (baritone), Thomas Gould (violin) and William Vann (piano) on Albion Records ALBCD029.
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