2003 MARCH 22 #081
from the album liner notes:
Just prior to leaving to appear in a musical version of Vladimir Nabokov's novel "Lolita" on Broadway, John Neville, one of Britain's finest young classical actors, recorded a remarkable series of poems: John Hayward's "Poems to Susie", described as "one of the most agonizingly beautiful love expressions of our time".
The poems so moved Frank Stafford that he specifically composed and arranged music not only to provide an interlude between the poems but to give a definite theme reflecting the words and using nine instruments with six top instrumentalists to improvise behind John Neville's voice and so develop the composition.
The music clearly mirrors the personality of the poems and their personal attributes of warmth, sincerity and refinement of spirit, to this has been added the vitality of the subject matter. The music which springs from the evocative power of the poems has been placed faithfully at their service and the spoken voice of John Neville. Each instrumentalist has been given enough of a free hand to make the music self-motivating, self-enriching, self-pacing according as the player is moved by the poetic spirit of the words. The whole rises to an incredible, triumphant height against glowing poetic harmonies which add musical 'voices' to the human. The music, thus becomes indissolubly linked with the words to create a new art form.
POEM 8: I weave, I dream, I create...
Alto flute is joined by clarinet, cello, piano and bass for an introduction in 6/8 time. Bass and drums then set a bossa nova rhythm. Piano improvises over this rhythm. Flute provides and 8-bar interlude. The first section is repeated and the poem concluded with a figure based on a 4-bar introduction.
POEM 9: You who are the clear cut image of love...
Opens with a repeated 3/4 (straight waltz) section, containing a 4/4 interlude. A jazz waltz rhythm (with again a 4/4 interlude) accompanies the voice. Improvisation by piano.
- Contributed by Otis Fodder
TT-4:31 / 5.2MB / 160kbps 44.1khz
from the LP, "Poems To Susie" (Dicomus 4D Records JP577)