12 Feb 2021

Claude Meurisse HAYDON: Two Songs

From Music Alive, 12:00 am on 12 February 2021

Call of the Huia: 100 early New Zealand Art Songs

'Rainbow' & 'To Sleep'

Claude Haydon (1884 – 1960) was born in Melbourne, Australia. He was crippled from birth, which hindered his ambition to become a concert pianist. He was a prolific composer, including writing an opera, Paolo and Francesca, performed in Melbourne and Wellington. He, his mother and sister moved to Wellington in 1920 when his sister was appointed Principal to Queen Margaret College. After she returned to Australia upon marriage in 1924 Claude and his mother remained in Lower Hutt where he taught piano and music theory.

He wrote many songs that are now held in the Alexander Turnbull Library. Many are undated and most unpublished but these two are dated January 1908 and among his earliest songs. Rather than set any of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s well-known verse the words come from two of Tennyson’s verse dramas, ‘Becket’ and ‘The Foresters’.

Recorded 12 February 2021, St Andrew's on The Terrace, Wellington by RNZ Concert

Producer: David McCaw for RNZ Concert

Engineer: Darryl Stack for RNZ Concert

Video: Chris Watson for SOUNZ

The Call of the Huia research project by music historian Michael Vinten is funded by the Lilburn Trust with support from the Alexander Turnbull Library, the Hocken Library, SOUNZ Centre for NZ Music, RNZ Concert and others. The scores with CDs for Call of the Huia can be purchased in hard copy or as digital download from SOUNZ.