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Track(s) taken from CDA67888

The Spring has come

author of text

Alice Coote (mezzo-soprano), Graham Johnson (piano)
Recording details: December 2010
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: February 2012
Total duration: 2 minutes 34 seconds

Cover artwork: naturally evolving (2009) by Mark Coote (b1932)
Reproduced by kind permission of the artist

The Spring has come is typical of White’s feisty creativity—ebullient and irresistible in its rhythmic impetus and in the seemingly inevitable shape of its melody, virtues that many a more famous composer would have envied. The poem is by the composer herself. Women of her time were discouraged from bold creative activity and White probably never reached her full potential. A male composer with similar gifts would have made his way with far less difficulty and won for his music a more permanent place in the repertoire. One senses that the composer may have lived a happier and more fulfilled life in the bohemian Paris of the Princesse de Polignac and George Sand, but that she was constrained by the proprieties of an upper-class English upbringing. Unlike her contemporary Ethel Smyth, she lacked the outré confidence to press her cause with anything approaching militancy, although both composers were friends of the Empress Eugénie, exiled in England. Not especially physically favoured, she was notoriously camera shy. White’s autobiography is superficially that of a cheery soul, but her writing is suffused with an undertone of loneliness.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2012

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