Where Corals Lie

December 24, 2007 10:21 PM

Sir Edward Elgar, 1899, from a cycle of 5 songs called Sea Pictures. This one is about the singer constantly hearing the call of the sea. Live recording from a recital I did in May with pianist Guy Newbury.

A lot of singers do this song, and it can be a bit twee. When performing it, I have an elaborate "mental backstory" involving the fevered imagination of an invalid girl who never sees the sea, but can hear it constantly from her sickroom.

Poem by Richard Garnett:

The deeps have music soft and low
When winds awake the airy spry,
It lures me, lures me on to go
And see the land where corals lie.

By mount and mead, by lawn and rill,
When night is deep, and moon is high,
That music seeks and finds me still,
And tells me where the corals lie.

Yes, press my eyelids close, 'tis well,
But far the rapid fancies fly
To rolling worlds of wave and shell,
And all the lands where corals lie.

Thy lips are like a sunset glow,
Thy smile is like a morning sky,
Yet leave me, leave me, let me go
And see the land where corals lie.

posted by Pallas Athena (4 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Amazing. Beautiful singing and playing and really interesting material. Thanks!
posted by doctor_negative at 12:50 AM on January 3, 2008

Very, very nice. And I like the 'texture' of the live recording. Where was it recorded?
posted by micayetoca at 4:07 PM on January 6, 2008

Hi micayetoca. It was recorded in the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building in St Hilda's College, Oxford. It's a newish building-- all blonde wood and honey-coloured brick-- only seats about 200, and the acoustic is divine. I really enjoy singing there.
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:27 AM on January 8, 2008

I can see why you love it. In this recording it becomes another element in the music. It definitely suggests images. Thank you for posting it.
posted by micayetoca at 6:18 PM on January 8, 2008

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