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Lennox Berkeley

Publisher: Chester Music

Autumn's Legacy (1962)
commissioned by the 1962 Cheltenham Festival
Text Writer
Thomas Lovell Beddoes, Lawrence Durrell, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Gerard Manley Hopkins, W H Davies
Chester Music Ltd
Solo Voices and 1-6 players
Year Composed
15 Minutes
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Programme Note
Lennox Berkeley Autumn's Legacy (1962)
This cycle of seven songs was commissioned by the Cheltenham Festival Committee in 1962 and performed there with great success by Richard Lewis and Geoffrey Parsons. The words are taken from poems by Thomas Lovell Beddoes, Lawrence Durrell, Tennyson, Gerrard Manley Hopkins, W H Davies and Hartley Coleridge.

Most of the poems express the sadness of autumn, this mood being matched by the compositions. Nevertheless, the images of the text are most effectively mirrored in the accompaniment, especially so in the powerful harmonies for the ‘mighty thoughts of an old world’ of Beddoes or the rocking motion of Durrell’s ‘Lesbos’.

Lennox Berkeley was born at Oxford in 1903 and is now recognised both in England and abroad as one of the most important English composers of today. His development has been consistent and impressive rather than meteoric, his compositions ranging over a very wide field including symphonic, chamber, vocal, piano and instrumental works.

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