Hyperion Records

The Desert
First line:
Alone in the desert, alone, I'm alone
circa 1860
author of text

'The Ballad Singer' (CDA67830)
The Ballad Singer
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67830 

The Desert
The Plymouth-born composer and bandmaster Louis Emanuel (1819–c1889) composed his entertainingly over-the-top ballad The Desert around 1860, probably for performance in Vauxhall Gardens where he was music director from 1845. The swirling chromatic scales—depicting the wheeling vulture—and pounding repeated notes of the piano introduction irresistibly suggest silent-movie music. After the ‘parched’ music of ‘No stream can I find’, and a brief lyrical interlude as the stranded hero thinks of family and friends, the vulture circles ever closer. Then, with a change from ominous E flat minor to E flat major, a bell tinkles softly in the distance: cue for our hero to celebrate his imminent rescue in a rollicking 6/8 metre.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2011

Track-specific metadata
Details for CDA67830 track 13
Recording date
3 February 2010
Recording venue
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. The Ballad Singer (CDA67830)
    Disc 1 Track 13
    Release date: June 2011
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