Towards the end of the 19th Century, the English publisher and researcher, A.H.Bullen wrote: “Song-writing is now almost as completely a lost art as play-writing. Our poets who ought to make ‘music and sweet poetry agree’, leave the writing of songs to meaner hands. Contrast the poor thin wretched stuff that one hears in drawing-rooms today with the rich full-throated songs of Campion and Dowland. O what a fall is there, my countrymen!”
Well, with the rich full-throated songs of Benjamin Britten to the remarkable sotto voce in the George Butterworth’s ghostly Is My Team Ploughing?, Peter Watts shows us the century that followed would prove Bullen wrong.