Tag Archive: 0Poetry

At Cana

At Cana

1st October 2021

I’ve blogged before about translating, and then setting, the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke. As yesterday was International Translation Day, I thought this week I’d write about another piece of mine, At Cana. This was actually what first brought me to Rilke, when, in 2019, I was looking for a text to set for a […]

A Scot in the American Revolutionary War

A Scot in the American Revolutionary War

23rd September 2021

Printed in Jedburgh in 1821, these poems were written by a Andrew Scott (1757–1839), a Scottish a shepherd boy who enlisted at the outset of the American War of Independence and served for the duration of the campaign.  Of the many poems he penned there, most were lost, but ‘The Oak Tree’ survived and is […]

German printing in London

German printing in London

27th May 2021

I’ve always been interested in English printing abroad, or foreign-language printing in the UK. Here’s a nice example of the latter, from 1769 (rare, too; I presume it must have been printed in limited numbers): The author, Carl Gottfried Woide (1725–1790), who hailed from Leszno (German Lissa) in Poland, served as preacher to both the […]

Love me do

Love me do

25th February 2021

Years ago, in my final year as a undergraduate, I took a course on the medieval German epic. I was attracted by the idea of reading old German texts–Tristan and Isolde, Wolfram von Eschenbach‘s Parzival, the Nibelungenlied–although I soon wondered whether the choice was such a good idea when I realised quite how long they […]

Auld Lang Syne

Auld Lang Syne

29th January 2021

As it was Burns Night earlier this week, I thought I’d share the following: ‘During the last eight years of his life, Burns directed most of his talents to the writing of songs.  Though there are a few songs in the 1786 Kilmarnock and 1787 Edinburgh Poems, it may be doubted whether Burns ever thought […]

Rowan Williams

Rowan Williams

26th November 2020

This Sunday is Advent Sunday, a day which marks an important step in my composing. As I wrote back in the summer, I wrote my setting of Rowan Williams‘ poem ‘Advent Calendar’ in 2006. Two years later, on Advent Sunday 2008, it was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 by the Choir of St John’s College, […]