Arrangement for mezzo-soprano and orchestra.
'A Charm of Lullabies' was written in December 1947 for the mezzo-soprano Nancy Evans. Keen to provide her with a work for her recital programmes, Britten was helped in the choice of texts for 'A Charm of Lullabies' by Evans’ husband Eric Crozier, who had recently written the libretto for Albert Herring. The work brings together an anthology of diverse texts unified by the themes of night and sleep and is one of the most genial and uncomplicated of Britten’s song-cycles. Colin Matthews’s arrangement differs in several respects from the original piano version, in particular by expanding it to give it the extra dimension needed for an orchestral song-cycle, and by joining the first three songs, and the fourth and fifth, in effect presenting the cycle in two parts.