Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten, OM, CH (1913 – 1976) “At Day‑Close in November” op. 52 no. 1 from Winter Words (1953)
Performed by English tenor Sir Peter Neville Luard Pears CBE (1910-1986) accompanied by the composer.
At Day‑Close in November
The ten hours' light is abating, And a late bird wings across, Where the pines, like waltzers waiting, Give their black heads a toss. Beech leaves, that yellow the noon-time, Float past like specks in the eye; I set every tree in my June time, And now they obscure the sky. And the children who ramble through here Conceive that there never has been A time when no tall trees grew here, That none will in time be seen.
Since we are celebrating Britten’s centenary during the year 2013, I thought it would be a fine way to embark on the month of November with this movement from Winter Words. I usually like to share video clips in which one can actually view the singer performing live but I simply could not choose any other singer than Peter Pears for today’s post. The other three movements from Winter Words: “Midnight on the Great Western” (or The Journeying Boy), “Wagtail and Baby” (A Satire), and “The little old Table” are also included in the recording. So, take a 10 minutes and 13 seconds out of your Friday to enjoy the whole thing. Here’s to a great and meaningful November!
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