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The English Song Series, Vol. 20: George Butterworth ()

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George Butterworth came of age just before World War I and was a friend and creative associate of Ralph Vaughan Williams. He was killed by a German sniper at the Battle of the Somme. The discovery of British folk music in which both he and Vaughan Williams were inspired by the researcher Cecil Sharp finds some of its most beautifully distilled expression in the three sets of songs sampled on this release. The two sets of settings of poems from A.E. Housman's volume A Shropshire Lad are actually more "folklike" than the Folk Songs from Sussex, which are based on folk song melodies and derive their appeal partly by pushing them just slightly in directions in which they don't want to go. The Housman songs are among the most beautiful of any settings of the work of this poet, who has been very popular among English song composers, with an intense melancholy that only intensifies as one considers that the war poem "The lads in their hundreds," for example, would soon describe Butterworth himself. The Folk... Hide synopsis

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