Hyperion Records

Over the rim of the moon
No 1: 1919, dedicated to Jean Adair and first performed at the Royal Albert Hall in 1919 by Astra Desmond; Nos 2-4: 1920
author of text

'No Exceptions No Exemptions' (SIGCD401)
No Exceptions No Exemptions
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'Head: Songs' (CDA67899)
Head: Songs
No 1: The ships of Arcady  Thro' the faintest filigree
No 2: Beloved  Nothing but sweet music wakes
No 3: A blackbird singing
No 4: Nocturne  The rim of the moon

Over the rim of the moon
During his war service in the munitions factory in 1918, Head counteracted the tedium of his labours by working on settings of four poems by the Irish poet Francis Ledwidge (1887–1917). The first, The ships of Arcady, was published in 1919, with the complete group following as a cycle the next year under the title Over the rim of the moon derived from the opening line of the last song. Dedicated to his teacher Jean Adair, it was first performed by Astra Desmond at the Royal Albert Hall in 1919. The piano sets the scene in The ships of Arcady, its sequence of serene chords suggesting the gathering dusk and still sea as the Arcadian ships glide out of harbour to the voice’s wistful melody. By contrast Beloved is a love-song with a passionate vocal line and ardent accompaniment. A blackbird singing is set to a rhythm of rocking regret and a melody tinged with sorrow in the face of loss. The final song, Nocturne, is a dramatic scena in miniature, marked by a recitative-like opening, menacing chords and urgent syncopated accompaniment in the second verse under­pinning the anguish embodied in the poem.

from notes by Andrew Burn 2012

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Details for CDA67899 track 7
The ships of Arcady
Recording date
22 January 2010
Recording venue
Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Andrew Mellor
Recording engineer
Andrew Mellor
Hyperion usage
  1. Head: Songs (CDA67899)
    Disc 1 Track 7
    Release date: January 2012
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