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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required a separate setting, and would make strong accents in one verse where in the corre­sponding place in another verse he would place a weak one, so that the ballad became most difficult for setting to music."
Tennyson and Sullivan collaborated in a miniature song-cycle, "The Window, or the Song of the Wrens," which the former wrote specially for Sullivan. Tennyson afterwards added a preface, which many of Sullivan's friends thought somewhat of a slight upon the composer. But Tennyson in a letter to the latter disclaimed all such intention, and explained that his remarks had no reference to Sullivan's music at all. The preface was as follows :—
" Four years ago Mr. Sullivan requested me to write a little song-cycle, German fashion, for him to exercise his art upon. He had been very successful in setting such old songs as 'Orpheus with his lute,' and I drest up for him, largely in the old style, a puppet, whose almost only merit is, perhaps, that it can dance to Mr. Sullivan's instrument. I am sorry that my four-year-old puppet should have to dance at all in the dark shadow of these days; but the music is now completed, and I am bound by my promise.
"A. Tennyson.
1' December, 1870.''
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