• Lennox Berkeley
  • Autumn's Legacy (1962)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by the 1962 Cheltenham Festival

  • high voicepf
  • 15 min
  • Lennox Berkeley
  • Thomas Lovell Beddoes, Lawrence Durrell, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Gerard Manley Hopkins, W H Davies

Programme Note

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.

Listen

Autumn's Legacy, Op. 58: No. 1. The mighty thoughts of an old world: Allegro moderato
Autumn's Legacy, Op. 58: No. 2. All night a wind of music: Vivace
Autumn's Legacy, Op. 58: No. 3. Lesbos: Andante
Autumn's Legacy, Op. 58: No. 4. Tonight the winds begin to rise: Allegro - Un poco meno vivo - Tempo I
Autumn's Legacy, Op. 58: No. 5. Hurrahing in Harvest: Moderato - Un poco piu vivo - Allegro
Autumn's Legacy, Op. 58: No. 6. Rich Days: Allegretto
Autumn's Legacy, Op. 58: No. 7. When we were idlers with the loitering rills: Andante