This week Paula’s theme at Black & White Sunday is rhapsody. This instantly made me think of George Butterworth whose promising career as a composer ended with a sniper’s bullet on the Somme in 1916.
He is best known for his arrangements of English folk songs, and in 1911 and 1912 he set to music eleven of A E Housman’s A Shropshire Lad poems. In the recording at the link below you can hear a ten-minute melodic evocation of my home county. It begins with one of the songs, Loveliest of Trees. This leads into the full orchestral Rhapsody which widens our gaze to embrace wide blue vistas – music of landscape, and of love and loss.
The photo was taken in the field behind our house. The tree is not a cherry as in the Butterworth-Housman song, but an ivy-clad ash. They thrive along Wenlock’s limestone Edge.