Poet's Composer, A - CD

By Horace Keats

Regular price $30.00 Sale

Songs by Horace Keats performed by Jane Parkin soprano, Gavin Lockley baritone and Clemens Leske piano, with Alexa Still flute and Sharon Olde soprano.

This double disc of 48 songs is a representation of the composer's output during his lifetime including the setting of poems of many of Australia's finest poets.
(Jane Parkin sings courtesy of Opera Australia) 

Historical Notes:
By the early 1930s Horace Keats and his wife, Janet were working with ABC Perth and broadcasting on a regular basis. Janet had formed a penchant for settings of Chinese poetry and quickly exhausted the supply available but having found some poems she asked her husband to set them for her, thus commencing his career in composition. Examples of settings in this idiom are on DiscTwo tracks, 3, 5, and 18.  Difficulty was experienced in obtaining copyright clearance for a great deal of Chinese poetry, so Keats turned to a young journalist the family had befriended, Kenneth Mackenzie, who said he would write poetry in the Chinese style.  Examples are on Disc One track12, and Disc Two track 2.  Keats moved back to the ABC in Sydney and Mackenzie followed soon after.  It was through this poet that a meeting with Hugh McCrae transpired.  A lasting friendship was also formed and many McCrae poems were set.  See Disc One tracks 3, 7,10, 25 and Disc Two tracks 7, 8, 11and 17.  Janet continued broadcasting and continued her quest for new poetry for songs, particularly of Australian origin.  A chance came when she saw a book of Christopher Brennan poems at a friend's home and was enamoured with his words.  For Horace Keats to set them permission was required from Brennan's Literary Executors and this was finally obtained with the bonus of an exclusive right to set the poems during the composer’s life time.  Neither poet or composer ever met although the composer was aware of Brennan's presence on the streets of Darlinghurst - "his black cloak streaming behind, a gargantuan pipe and a rich baritone voice declaiming Greek poetry to an enthralled friend." Horace Keats remains the most published composer of his day and this was partly because of his settings of the English poet Herbert Brandon.  See Disc One track 9 and Disc two, tracks, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23.  It is because the composer was writing ahead of his time that his works continue to be broadcast, heard on the recital platform as well, having the highest representation in the Trinity/Guildhall Australian Singing Syllabus and this alone constitutes a worthwhile tribute to one who said, "a song is a two-way street being a representation of the work of the composer and the poet" and it was this attitude that won him the title of "A Poet's Composer."
Wirr 040

Download samples
Disc 1
1 The Orange Tree (Neilson)
2 Love's Secret (Blake)
3  The Trespass (MCrae)
4  Ego (Sterling-Levis)
5  In What Other Places do You Live? (Henderson)
6  The Garden of Death (Wilde)
7  Sun After Rain (McCrae)
8  The Song of the Little Poeple (McCrae)
9   Dreams at Eventide (Brandon)
10  Columbine (McCrae)
11  She Walks in Beaty (Byron)
12  The Fishing Pools (Mackenzie)
13  The Point of Noon (Brennan)
14  Drowsy Chime (Brennan)
15  We Sat Entwined (Brennan)
16  White Wind (Brennan)
17  Peace Dwells in Blessing (Brennan)
18  How Old is my Heart (Brennan)
19  Spring Breezes (Brennan)
20  My Heart was Wandering in the Sands (Brennan)
21 Once I Could Sit by the Fire Hourlong (Brennan)
22  Of Old on Her Terrace at Evening (Brennan)
23  I am Shut Out of Mine Own Heart (Brennan)
24  Sea Wraith (Donnelley)
25  The Wild Man's Dear (McCrae)
Disc 2
1  Fear (Montaigne)
2  Mermaids (Mackenzie)
3  I Will Buildid My House in the Water (C4thChinese/Waley)
4  Galleons (Mackenzie)
5  The Fig Tree (Hodgson)
6  Heaven Haven (Hopkins)
7  The Pantler's Song (McCrae)
8  The Moon (McCrae)
9  Gonerill's Lullaby (Bottomley)
10  The Constant Lover (Suckling)
11  Versicle (McCrae)
12  Moonlit Apples (Drinkwater)
13  Echo (Rossetti)
14  I Know a Road (Brandon)
15  Two Lovers (Brandon)
16  Thousands of Roadways (Brandon)
17  Twilight (McCrae)
18  Plucking the Rushes (C4thChinese/Waley)
19  Where the Pelican Builds Her Nest (Foott)
20  The Ballad of the Convict's Daughter (Sibley)
21  The Roads Beside the Sea (Brandon)
22   Over the Quiet Waters (Brandon)
23   Drake's Call (Brandon)