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If we must part

author of text

If we must part (1929) returns again to the poetry of Ernest Dowson. The theme is a variant on the by now familiar one of friendship … this time, how to say goodbye. Words are useless, displays of emotion too painful. The alternative is very British, very stiff upper lip, very Ireland. Just say 'Until tomorrow or some other day' and leave the rest to silence. Never mind the hurt inside. Another setting. of words by Ernest Dowson, When I am old, seems to date from the 1920s. This only recently came to light when the manuscript turned up in Zürich. It is now lodged with the Syndics of Cambridge University Music Library who have generously facilitated the first recording of this song. The poem is a plea to a loved one to dwell on earlier, happier times when old age comes—the choice of the text by Ireland being evidence perhaps of his morbid fear of growing old. The rich-harmonised setting builds to a heartfelt climax, marked 'passionato', on the repeated words 'My life's one love'.

from notes by Andrew Green © 1999


Ireland: Songs
CDA67261/22CDs Last few CD copies remaining


Track 20 on CDA67261/2 CD1 [1'51] 2CDs Last few CD copies remaining

Track-specific metadata for CDA67261/2 disc 1 track 20

Recording date
1 September 1998
Recording venue
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Arthur Johnson
Recording engineer
Mike Clements & Mike Hatch
Hyperion usage
  1. Ireland: Songs (CDA67261/2)
    Disc 1 Track 20
    Release date: June 1999
    2CDs Last few CD copies remaining
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