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Thine eyes so bright

1865; SSATBB; composed for the Bristol Madrigal Society competition of 1865 and first performed in Bristol on 18 January 1866
author of text

The name of Henry Leslie (1822–1896) is little known today, but during the nineteenth century he was well known as a choral conductor. In particular he had a high reputation as a choral trainer derived from the concerts of madrigals and other unaccompanied choral repertoire he gave in London’s Hanover Square Rooms and St James’s Hall with his own choir (‘Henry Leslie’s Choir’) of around thirty voices, which he founded in 1856. His six-part setting of Thomas Watson’s Thine eyes so bright was entered for the Bristol Madrigal Society’s prize of 1865, and took first prize with a winning sum of £25 (now worth around £3,000). A fluent and skilful essay, Leslie’s work clearly impressed the judges with its smooth and well-calculated imitation and dissonance (very much modelled on Pearsall) and with its subtle structure (in which the opening ‘point’ returns at the end); it was first performed in Bristol on 18 January 1866.

from notes by Jeremy Dibble © 2016


English Romantic Madrigals
Studio Master: CDA68140Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 7 on CDA68140 [5'54]

Track-specific metadata for CDA68140 track 7

Recording date
25 April 2015
Recording venue
All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Adrian Peacock
Recording engineer
David Hinitt
Hyperion usage
  1. English Romantic Madrigals (CDA68140)
    Disc 1 Track 7
    Release date: June 2016
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