I Love No Leafless Land
"I love no leafless land"
Readers: Lucy Briers and Gerard Murphy.
Taking its title from words by A E Housman, this edition of Words and Music is inspired by trees.
There are individual real trees such as Sassoon's "Blunden's Oak", or a spectacularly "dissolving" storm-battered beech, and trees that are symbolic - C. Day Lewis's Christmas Tree, and the trees that mark the passing of the year.
With poetry on the relationships between people and trees, the pleasure and pain of being solitary (Walt Whitman) , and the struggle for survival (D H Lawrence) , insistence on the need for trees (Gerard Manley Hopkins "Binsey Poplars, felled") and meditations on long life and ageing (W H Davies).
There are also celebrations of the sheer beauty and abundance of trees. Trees have spirits, so the Green Man makes his appearance, as do the dryads and hamadryads of mythology. (Shakespeare, James Thomson, C S Lewis)
The words are interleaved seamlessly with music, including Respighi's Pines, song settings by Butterworth and Madeleine Dring, an atmospheric evocation of acacias by Toru Takemitsu and some music generated by the wood of the trees themselves, using electronics and a modified turntable.