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Benjamin Britten’s

Song Catalogue

Cabaret Songs

Voice, Piano

The four Cabaret Songs, composed between 1937 and 1939 but not published until 1980, were written for Hedli Anderson (later wife of the poet Louis MacNeice), a singer specialising in the performance of high quality 'light music'. They include a setting the well-known Auden poem 'Tell me the truth about love', together with 'Funeral Blues', 'Johnny' and 'Calypso'. Hedli Anderson had taken the part of The Singer in The Ascent of F6, an Auden-Isherwood theatre piece for which Britten had written the incidental music in 1937, including the original version of 'Funeral Blues'. These are lively and witty settings, clearly influenced by the popular hit songs of the day while the onomatopoeic train noises of 'Calypso' clearly point forward to 'Midnight on the Great Western' from the Thomas Hardy cycle Winter Words of 1953.

Audio extracts courtesy of Onyx Classics. Caryl Hughes (mezzo-soprano); Malcolm Martineau (piano) (2010).

Text Author
W H Auden
Language
English
Publisher
Faber
Type
Collection
Voice Type
Voice
Accompaniment
Piano
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Brittens Song Catalogue

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