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Edith Sitwell: The Spoken Word (audio CD)

Published Date:
British Library Publishing
Bibliographic Details:
One CD with booklet including introductory essay, Running time 71 minutes
Free UK P&P for orders over £15

Edith Sitwell was the queen of 20th-century English poetry, majestically attired in performance and distinctly regal in her delivery. Drawing on previously unpublished BBC broadcasts, this CD presents a complete programme from 1948 in which she discusses her poetry in great technical detail - illustrating her talk with performed poems and extracts - and a live poetry performance recorded at the Aldeburgh Festival of 1956. Among the poems she reads are 'Aubade', 'Dark Song', 'The Youth with the Red-Gold Hair' and 'The Canticle of the Rose'. The collection is completed with a recording of 'Still Falls the Rain', perhaps her most popular poem, taken from a 1946 disc issued with the aim of improving cultural relations with the U.S.S.R.

Listen to a sample track using Windows Media Player:
Edith Sitwell reads 'Most Lovely Shade', recorded in 1956 (excerpt)

Track listing

1. Still Falls the Rain
2. Introductory remarks
3. Clowns' Houses (excerpt)
4. Said King Pompey
5. Waltz (excerpt)
6. Elegy on Dead Fashion
7. Waltz (excerpt)
8. Aubade
9. Spring (excerpt)
10. The Drum (excerpt)
11. The Sleeping Beauty (excerpt)
12. Dark Song
13. Gold Coast Customs (excerpts)
14. An Old Woman I
15. An Old Woman II: Harvest
16. Most Lovely Shade
17. The Youth with the Red-Gold Hair
18. Song: Now that Fate is dead and gone
19. Dirge for the New Sunrise Invocation (excerpt)
21. Holiday
22. The Canticle of the Rose

You can't see the majestic furs and extravagant brocades [Sitwell] wore, but you can hear them in her voice.
Rachel Redford, The Observer

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