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.