A Century Of Ballads 1810-1910, Their Composers & Singers

With Some Introductory Chapters On Old Ballads And Ballad Makers - online book.

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AN HARMONIOUS QUARTET           203
inspire ! But it is quite possible that a com­poser having in his brain 'an unexpressed poem' may make music to it. Then if he can find an author to whom the music has a definite message, and who has also the technical power to adapt words to music, a success may follow as genuine as if the words had been written first. I have written scores of songs in this way, ' Nancy Lee' and 'The Chorister' being the most notable.
"Facility for adapting words to music has brought me a good deal to do in the way of making English versions of foreign operas. Only those who have tried know the difficulty. Though I have never written a sea-song at sea, I wrote my version of the Siciliana (Cavalleria Rusti-cand) when shut up in a train in a black fog between Wimbledon and Waterloo. That was my first piece of adaptation of opera, and it was followed by a long spell of work for dear old ' Gus ' Harris. The recollection of his friend­ship, started solely out of the relationship of pay­master and workman, is one of my pleasantest.
" It was for him that I wrote the English versions of Cavalleria Rustieana, Pagliacci, UAmico Fritz; V Attaque du Moulin, Amy Robsart, Signa; and with him wrote the original English libretto of Bach's Lady of Longford. Once to help him out of a difficulty I rewrote
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III