The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #163854   Message #3913545
Posted By: keberoxu
27-Mar-18 - 03:41 PM
Thread Name: George Butterworth (Musician/collector-died 1916)
Subject: RE: George Butterworth (Musician-died 1916)
DtG has a valid point:
George Butterworth's contribution is the sort that
attracts the attention of specialists of different kinds.

Besides what has already been expressed in previous posts,
there is an additional niche of classical music
that takes Butterworth seriously.
That would be the art-song/Lieder specialty.
It was from my art-song professor, a retired accompanist/pianist/coach,
that I learned of George Butterworth.

I remember well the Butterworth setting of "Is My Team Plowing,"
a deceptively gentle-sounding strophic song,
very different from the through-composed, highly emotional
Vaughan-Williams arrangement for voice and string quartet.

The Butterworth setting of that subtle, ambivalent, conflicted dialogue
did not dramatize Housman's lyric,
did not broadcast it out at the audience,
but calmly drew the audience in.

I can still hear my professor coaching and teaching
a young baritone in that very song,
suggesting how he might express in tone, timbre, and pacing,
the difference between the querying discontented party
from the responding, defensive, living comrade in the poem.

If the song is done right,
the effect of it is haunting and it ripples through the conscience
long after the song is finished.