Andrew Joyce (cello) with The Tudor Consort directed by Michael Stewart
A hugely versatile musician, Richard Rodney Bennett (1936- 2012) excelled with ‘high classical’ repertoire, as well as scores for film and television (including Four Weddings and a Funeral), and as a writer and performer of jazz and cabaret songs.
In A Farewell to Arms Bennett sets two poems that show an old soldier looking back on past glories. The earlier poem by George Peele is titled Polyhymnia describing the honourable triumph at Tylt, written in 1590.
Its opening line - ‘His golden locks time hath to silver turn’d’ - evidently inspired Ralph Knevet’s 17th century poem which in turn elaborates on the redundant accoutrement of war.
A Farewell to Arms was commissioned by VocalEssence and first performed by them in Minneapolis in March 2002.
Recorded 28 July 2018, St Mary of the Angels, Wellington by RNZ Concert
Producer: David McCaw
Engineer: Graham Kennedy