BACH & THE SENTRY Song for baritone and piano Words by Ivor Gurney
Copyright Philip Lancaster, 2015. All rights reserved.
Composer’s Note This setting makes reference to the Prelude in G minor from Book II of J. S. Bach’s DasWohltemperierte Klavier, which was one of those Preludes singled out by Gurney in a letter of March 1917 as being one that might qualify as that ‘Dearest Prelude’, although he admitted that there was ‘no certain’ one. Gurney makes particular mention of the G minor prelude earlier in the letter; and in a previous letter of June 1916 — a few months before the writing of the poem and shortly after enduring a one and a quarter hour bombardment — Gurney wrote, ‘it [the bombardment] left me exalted and exulting only longing for a nice blighty that would have taken me away from all this and left me free to play the G minor Prelude from the Second Book of Bach.’ At the end of this letter Gurney adds, ‘O that G minor Prelude! It sticks to me in solemn moments.’ This setting is dedicated to Jon Stallworthy, Poet and Scholar, whom I knew for only a few years prior to his passing, but who in that time gave me tremendous encouragement and valuable support in my work and other pursuits. PGL, June 2015
Song for baritone and piano. Words by Ivor Gurney.