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Take, O take those lips away

composer
1918
author of text
Measure for Measure IV:i

 
The composer’s real name was Philip Heseltine. It was once fashionable (but is now considered simplistic) to explain away his suicide as a split-personality clash between the critic and scholar Heseltine and the hard-drinking, obstreperous creative genius Warlock. The truth was probably less dramatic: he was a highly emotional figure who felt musically constrained, and enormously frustrated, by being artistically imprisoned within song miniatures, but who lacked the technical ability to express himself in grander structures. Within the field of English song, however, he stands as one of the uncontested masters.

Take, O take those lips away (Shakespeare) is his second setting of those words (1918, the first had been part of his little cycle Saudades, influenced by the wayward chromaticism of the Dutch composer Bernard Van Dieren). The accompaniment suggests the string-quartet layout which is indeed an alternative accompaniment for this song.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2012

Recordings

The Power of Love
CDA67888Composers of World War I
Warlock: The Curlew, Capriol, Serenade & Songs
CDA66938
Warlock: Songs
CDH55442

Details

Track 19 on CDA67888 [1'59] Composers of World War I
Track 3 on CDH55442 [1'57]
Track 13 on CDA66938 [1'48]

Track-specific metadata for CDA66938 track 13

Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-97-93813
Duration
1'48
Recording date
24 April 1997
Recording venue
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Warlock: The Curlew, Capriol, Serenade & Songs (CDA66938)
    Disc 1 Track 13
    Release date: October 1997
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