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Music, when soft voices die

author of text

Few poems have been set with such frequency or variable results in the great repertory of English partsong as Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Music, when soft voices die. Edward Bairstow’s version, for two tenor and two bass parts, is a miniature masterpiece of the partsong genre. The piece, published by Hawkes & Sons in 1929, elevates the virtue of textural simplicity in setting evocative, beautifully turned poetry to music. It also underlines Bairstow’s innate feeling for harmonic colour and its affective powers: listen, for example, to the striking initial chordal shift and subsequent use of unprepared dissonance for ‘Odours, when sweet violets sicken’.

from notes by Andrew Stewart © 2009


Romance du Soir
SIGCD147Download only


Track 2 on SIGCD147 [2'15] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD147 track 2

Recording date
16 October 2008
Recording venue
St Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Adrian Peacock
Recording engineer
Mike Hatch
Hyperion usage
  1. Romance du Soir (SIGCD147)
    Disc 1 Track 2
    Release date: March 2009
    Download only
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