Hyperion Records

The hardy Norse-woman, Op 365
First line:
There was a young lady from Norway
author of text

'On this Island' (CDA67227)
On this Island
Track 20 on CDA67227 [0'54] Archive Service

The hardy Norse-woman, Op 365
Unknown to Greene, Stanford had committed his ‘Limericks’ to paper on two occasions. Both manuscripts survive, the revised version of which (now in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York) was discovered among the bomb-damaged archives of Stainer & Bell and used as the source for publication in 1960. The first of Lear’s rhymes to appear in the collection of fourteen in total was The Hardy Norse-woman (Op 365) which, marked ‘Allegro griegoso’, comically mimics Peer Gynt, which is also evident from the comments the composer appended at the end:

The composer shows, almost too clearly, his close acquaintanceship with the modern Scandinavian school. He explains however that he was anxious to illustrate with appropriate local colour an incident which took place at the première of one of Ibsen’s dramas. The young lady suffered physically from a front place which she secured in the gallery queue. She proved however by her courageous mental superiority under adverse circumstances, that she had no sympathy with the pessimism of the great playwright of her country; taking rather as her motto the view of Alfred de Musset, “Il faut qu’une porte soit ouverte ou fermée.”

from notes by Jeremy Dibble 2001

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