Dr Edward Caine is a composer, conductor and pianist who has worked with Jeffrey as Research Assistant for the last 3 years. We asked him to recommend some further listening based on the pieces in our A musical Summer Holiday film. We hope you find something new to enjoy.
Here is Edd’s second selection of pieces, connected to Jeffrey’s arrangement of Trenet’s La mer that we included.
1. La mer/Beyond the sea
The hugely popular song La Mer was written by Charles Trenet in 1945, and became a hit single and Jazz standard, later fuelled by the English version Beyond the Sea, adapted by songwriter Jack Lawrence in 1945 and made popular by American singer Bobby Darin in the 1960s.
Listen to both Trenet himself, and Darin in the playlist.
2. Claude Debussy, La mer
Initially printed with Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa on the cover, artistic impressions of the sea are cited as the inspiration for these three symphonic “sketches” and in form they more closely represent Debussy’s concurrent piano Images, preferring as he did an open ended form over that of Symphony or Symphonic poem. One hates to use the term “impressionistic”, loaded as it is with meaning when discussing his work, but certainly the result gives an artistic impression of the sea while avoiding narrative or strict form.
Listen to the performance by the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle in the playlist
3. John Ireland, Sea Fever
Here is a song fresh from my own music stand. John Ireland’s powerful setting of Sea Fever by 1930-67 poet laureate John Masefield. In some ways a simple shanty-like setting with slow chordal accompaniment, the constant harmonic shifting in the piano and the journey up and down in the vocal register make this a very picturesque and dizzying setting.
Listen to the performance by Roderick Williams and Iain Burnside in the playlist.
4. Flanders & Swann, Sea Fever
I can’t help myself from including this wonderfully silly take on Sea Fever by iconic British musical hall duo Flanders and Swann to take us all back onto dry land.