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Posted by Martin Walker on April 24, 2013, 10:22 am
I read Paul Corfield Godfrey's review with great interest, mainly because I am interested in the music of Baird. It is a pity modern CD producers (LPs and older CDs were invariably more communicative in my senescent memory!) can't get their act together with texts, titles etc. I say titles, because the title "Trouveur's Songs" is clearly wrong and must be the result of a clumsy inter-linguistic muddle. On the culture.pl resource library the title is clearly and unmistakably given, as I had suspected from the review, as Troubadours' Songs for alto voice (or mezzo-soprano), two flutes and cello (1963). Trouveres, not trouveurs, were French poet-singers, troubadours were from the land of langue d'oc, and "reis glorios" is a very famous surviving song by the troubadour Giraut de Bornelh, mentioned by Dante. There are various online translations. Baird is an interesting and rewarding composer; the Olympia CD with a selection of his music is very worthwhile, though probably difficult to find, and includes the Shakespeare sonnets very justly praised by the above-mentioned site as "the moving, beautiful 4 Love Sonnets to Words by William Shakespeare for baritone and orchestra, written in 1956. There is little or no other music today that is as deeply lyrical, strangely expressive, and ultimately so intensely subjective." I would add that the latter, but certainly not all of Baird's music, is in the "archaicizing" vein - some is just as modernist as other Polish composers of the 60s and 70s.
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