A Musical Re-Dusk-covery


Scrabbling through a stash of sheet music in one of our garages, in a box still to be unpacked further, I came across the piano score of ‘Dusk’ by composer Cecil Armstrong Gibbs (1889-1960).  He was a popular songwriter of earlier years, studied under Vaughan Williams, and was a friend of poet Walter de la Mare, a number of whose poems he set to music.

This haunting piece, with its wistful yet lilting main theme, was familiar to me from being the theme tune on a radio serial I heard often in my youth (Mary Livingstone MD). and it has reappeared in many guises over the years. I read that Queen Elizabeth II (then Princess) requested that it be played at her 18th birthday celebration.

I am in the process of committing it to memory – not as easy a process as it would seem from listening to it, because tied notes and big stretches require some tricky fingering.
I couldn’t find a piano recording, but this orchestral one conveys the melody well enough, and has the added benefit of being unabridged – the piano score follows the shorter version. 

I wonder for how many readers it will strike a chord 🙂 and in what context.

© Colonialist September 2015 (WordPress)

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
This entry was posted in Music, music composition. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to A Musical Re-Dusk-covery

  1. rhbblog says:

    Off to check contents of piano stool! Thanks for solving the theme tune question for my husband, too.


  2. Tokeloshe says:

    A beautiful piece, which I don’t think I have heard before and it would be nice to choreograph.
    I agree with philosophermouseofthehedge, as it reminds me of Musicals of the 60’s.
    Thank you.


  3. From the age of elegance and style. It is familiar, but not sure from what – some movie, I think…will have to wander through some from that wonderful genre when movies – even TV specials were crafted with fine characters, setting, and plots. Grace Kelly-ish. Impressive you’re adding this to your brain’s play list.


  4. Kev says:

    Nice! 🙂


  5. Very familiar. But then I’m an old radio fan. It’s very hard to memorise music – I could play the first page or two of most things and then would dry up. Nowadays I can’t even remember any of my own poetry. Jock can still reel off reams of Burns and he’s 82…


    • colonialist says:

      Memory is an annoying thing as one progresses into more senior citizenship. I used to be able to zip through a piece after years of not playing it – no more. I need a refresher. Then, I have always had a talent for memorising – pity it wasn’t matched by skill in performing.

  6. I never heard it before . It is lovely, haunting and soothing.


  7. Barb says:

    Lovely in its simplicity. How wonderful to find an old friend (in music). Thanks for sharing it.


  8. calmgrove says:

    Although it has a generic familiarity it doesn’t ring any bells, sadly. Hope it does for others though!

    Liked by 1 person

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