Hyperion Records

Two Choral Songs, Op 71
The two Opus 71 songs, to words by Henry Vaughan, are exquisitely written, deceptive in their (relative) simplicity. In The Shower, the altos and tenors have semiquavers against the tune’s quavers in a couple of places, suggesting the ‘train of drops’ of the title. The second song, The Fountain, refers to a stillness in nature (‘all the earth lay hush’); but then, ‘Only a little fountain lent Some use for ears’. The music of nature was always a potent force for Elgar: as a boy he had been found lying by the River Severn, ‘trying to fix the sounds’ as he wrote many years later.

from notes by Geoffrey Hodgkins 1998

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