The Wordsmith’s Guide: Poetry, Music & Imagination.
Volume II: The Songs of Ivor Gurney
Nicola Harrison

The result of years of study, teaching and performance, and informed throughout by the author's love of poetry, Nicola Harrison invites the singer to think more expansively about the way they approach and sing English Song. The result of her work is unique, refreshing, and is certain to change the way singers perform and experience these classic songs In this second volume (of a planned series of Wordsmith's Guides - the first volume on Roger Quilter is published simultaneously), focusing on the music of Ivor Gurney, she examines the poetry and lyrics of their songs, taking into account the context in which the words were written - the symbolism, mythologies, religion, philosophy, and the many other influences on the writer - digging deep into the text with fascinating results. Her exploration of English Song is entertaining, witty and illuminating, exploring the magical relationship of words and music, and the way each separate art is painted by the other. To this end, each song is offered as a mini narrative that invites the singer into a new world, firing the imagination and guiding them to make their own interpretations. Offering both the well-known and the lesser known songs of these two composers, Nicola Harrison encourages a deeper exploration of the repertoire. Here, the singer will find new songs to perform - and a fresh and authentic way of performing them. Further, those studying the literature may well find new insights and also a new understanding of the myth and subtle meaning of the lyrics.

Biographical Notes
A Personal Note Note on Song Order
Songs, alphabetical:
All Night under the Moon
Aspens, The
Black Stitchel
Bread and Cherries
By a Bierside
Cloths of Heaven, The
Cradle Song, A
Desire in Spring
Down by the Salley Gardens
Epitaph, An
Even such is Time
Far Country, The
Far in a Western Brookland
Fiddler of Dooney, The
Fields are Full, The
Folly of being Comforted, The
Golden Friends
In Flanders
Is my team ploughing?
I will go with my father a-ploughing
Loveliest of Trees
Ludlow Fair
On the idle hill of summer
Orpheus with his Lute
Scribe, The
Severn Meadows
Singer, The
The Lent Lily
Tis time, I think, by Wenlock town
Twa Corbies, The
Twice a Week
Under the Greenwood Tree
When I was one and twenty
When Smoke Stood Up from Ludlow
Song List by Publication
Printed Music

About the Author

Nicola Harrison has a unique portfolio of skills, all brought to bear in this book. As a school-leaver she won a scholarship to train with the mezzo-soprano Pamela Bowden and went on to be taught by the late Pamela Cook MBE (RNCM) and, in Spain, by legendary mezzo-soprano Teresa Berganza. Following graduation in English at the University of Oxford, she went on to train in nursing at the Westminster and Chelsea Hospital, London, during which time she was awarded the prestigious Wolfson Prize. After qualifying, she specialized in Ear, Nose and Throat and Voice Clinic. Nicola has also worked as a journalist and writer, contributing to national newspapers and singing-related media.
Currently, she is Lecturer in Singing and Song Interpretation at Pembroke College, University of Oxford, Lecturer in Teacher’s Voice at Westminster College of Education, London, and is a visiting lecturer at Oxford Brookes University. She has also been the voice and singing coach to the choral scholars of Brasenose College, University of Oxford and, in the past, to the young stars of Billy Elliot the Musical. Many of her students have gone on to become highly successful professionals. In addition, she continues to perform the Spanish repertoire with the critically-acclaimed touring company, Casa Margarita.
In her teaching and research she has focused on clarifying the language used to teach singing, resulting in a highly effective anatomy-based vocabulary for conveying a solid and liberated vocal techique.

 April 2016. 190 pages

ISBN 978-1-909082-055-7


Color illustrations

229x152mm (6x9")

Price £15.00

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