Uncle Bardie’s Weekly Music Pick: The Banks of Greenwillow

t’s Thursday again. You know what that means. Uncle Bardie’s Weekly Music Pick. Uncle Bardiie gives a double thumbs up to this week’s selection: English composer George Butterworth’s “The Banks of Greenwillow” (1913), performed by Sir Neville Marriner conducting Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields.

I never go in search of music. It usually finds me. That’s the way I chanced upon this lovely music. I was researching “The World of Henry Orient”. I was checking out the biography of its director George Roy Hill. It seems he directed a Broadway musical in 1960 called “Greenwillow”, with music and lyrics written by Frank Loesser. It only lasted for 97 performances. The only striking fact about the musical was that it featured Anthony Perkins as Gideon Briggs, singing “Never Will I Marry”. He was rehearsing the play at the same time he was filming “Psycho”.

Like so much new music I discover, I found this one on the right side bar of the You Tube video of Anthony Perkins performing his song. Curious I listened to it and fell in love with the piece.

This is a great piece to listen to first thing in the morning as I am getting ready to meet my day. It’s also a lovely piece to listen to after a stressful day.

Just a couple of notes about George Butterworth. He was a good friend of the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. He also based a composition on A. E. Housman’s collection of poems A Shropshire Lad. Butterworth was killed during the Battle of the Somme in World War I, just one of many great losses in the “war to end all wars”. The sadness of it all is what might have been. It’s sadder that this composer is poorly remembered.

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