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The Rose is Shaken in the Wind returns us to the delicacy of Joubert's word-painting miniatures. Set to poems by the admirable Ruth Dallas, the Tombstone Song displays his trademark wistfulness and finally converted me to the deeper timbres of the recorder, matching the chest voice of a true soprano delightfully. The Gardener's Song [listen -- track 13, 0:00-0:29] is lively and clever, without ever being coy, while the recorder impersonates an impudent bird, an animalistic assumption of the 'moth, grub, snail and black-spot besieging the gardener'. The Rose is Shaken in the Wind has a pared-down melancholy much deeper than the sum of its parts [listen -- track 14, 1:57-3:15].

Indeed, I can't get out of my mind a couple of lines from The Rose is Shaken in the Wind:

'All those I sing,
And among them name your name
Who left the earth richer than when they came

Can anyone out there think of a better way, in this his 80th year, to sum up John Joubert?

Copyright © 14 December 2007 Alice McVeigh, Kent UK


John Joubert: Four Song-Cycles

TOCC 0045 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE 76'26" 2007 Toccata Classics

Lesley-Jane Rogers, soprano; John Turner, recorder; Richard Tunnicliffe, cello; John McCabe, piano

John Joubert (born 1927): The Hour Hand Op 101 for soprano and recorder (The Hour Hand; Clock round the Clock; Winter Sun; Low Tide; Horizontal Beams); Shropshire Hills Op 155 for high voice and piano (Shropshire Hills; Early Spring in the Marches; Clun Forest); Improvisation Op 120 for recorder and piano; Kontakion Op 69 for cello and piano; The Rose is Shaken in the Wind Op 137 for soprano and recorder (Spring Day in Arrowtown; Tombstone Song; The Gardener's Song; The Rose is Shaken in the Wind); Six Poems by Emily Brontë Op 63 for soprano and piano (Harp; Sleep; Oracle; Storm; Caged Bird; Immortality) (first recordings - made in the presence of the composer)





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