Now sleeps the crimson petal
has been a favourite among singers ever since its publication in 1904. It is a drawing-room song raised to a higher plane by its sensitivity to the words, resulting in flexible barring rarely seen at the time. It has been republished so many times that the revisions which took place have not been dated, and indeed may not have all been made at any one time. They are mostly minor alterations in the accompaniment, but there is one important change for the voice. Originally, as in this recording, Quilter wrote ‘slip into my’ to four semiquavers (ad lib); this was later changed to ‘into my’ to three triplet quavers. As so often when an artist returns to earlier work to improve it he in fact does more harm than good, and the original version of this song is without question better than the new one.
from notes by Michael Pilkington © 1996