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Published on Jun 14, 2009
'Loveliest Of Trees' (excerpt), composed by George Butterworth (1885-1916, first photo) to a poem by A.E. Housman, sung by baritone John Shirley-Quirk, with Martin Isepp, piano; on a Saga long-play disc, number XID5260, issued in 1966. And 'A Shropshire Lad', Rhapsody For Full Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult (second photo, at a 1949 studio session) conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra; a British Decca recording, made in 1954, issued in the United States on London long-play disc LL1169. I have arranged the two works in sequence because Butterworth took the principal theme of his Rhapsody from this song, initially titling the second work 'Cherry Tree Prelude'. On the cover sheet of the printed score (shown here), Butterworth calls the Rhapsody "an orchestral epilogue to [his] two sets of songs, [based on] Mr. A.E. Housman's poem 'A Shropshire Lad'." 'A Shropshire Lad' was premiered at the Leeds Festival in 1913. 'Is My Team Ploughing?', also a setting of a Housman poem, may be heard in my previous Butterworth YouTube posting, along with the setting by Butterworth's friend Rafe [Ralph] Vaughan Williams.