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As Dew in Apryllefor mixed voices (SATB div) a cappella
Text: English (Anon, 15th Century)
Duration: 2 minutes
Difficulty: 4/5
Use: Christmas

Predating the well-known Bethlehem Down by just a few years, As dew in Aprylle is one of several choral works by Warlock to draw on texts from the 15th-century Sloane Manuscript, yet musically this work demonstrates a similar mastery of part writing and fondness for chromatic harmonic language. Here, the continuous changes of meter should be smooth and almost unnoticeable in performance. First published on 12th June, 1924, following a period of unavailability this is now restored to the catalogue in a newly-prepared edition.

I syng of a mayden
That is makeles,
Kyng of alle kynges
To here sone che ches.

He cam al so stylle
Ther his moder was,
As dew in Aprylle
That fallyt on the gras.

He cam al so stylle
To his moderes bow’r
As dew in Aprylle
That fallyt on the flour.

He cam al so stylle
Ther his moder lay
As dew in Aprylle
That fallyt on the spray.

Moder and mayden
Was never non but che;
Wel may swych a lady
Godes moder be.

Anon (15th century)

Peter Warlock
A leading light of the early twentieth century’s so called English Musical Renaissance, the critic Philip Heseltine, who composed under the pseudonym Peter Warlock, was part of an intimate yet diverse artistic circle that included D H Lawrence, Aldous Huxley and Jacob Epstein in addition to musicians and scholars such as Elizabeth Poston and school friend Frederick Delius. Heseltine’s enduring interest in Elizabethan music and sixteenth century polyphony was self-developed following a brief period working as a critic for the Daily Mail in 1915 and remained a considerable influence throughout his original musical works.

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