Flower of Cities
circa 14′ 30″
Version for baritone and piano and
Version for tenor and piano.
Listen to excerpts from the first six song sung by Mark Stone:
1 To the City of London (Dunbar)
2 To the distant prospect (Byron)
3 Sonnet Composed upon Westminster Bridge (Wordsworth)
4 London (Blake)
5 Glide gently (Wordsworth)
6 London is a fine Town (Henry Carey)
7 To the City of London – reprise (Dunbar)
This cycle was commissioned in 2000 by the baritone David Morris, who gave performances of the songs in London and Dartington and subsequently commissioned a set of Wordsworth songs for baritone, clarinet and piano.
The cycle was first performed in 2000. Songs 1, 3, 4 and 6 were sung by Mark Stone in 2007 as part of an all-Corp Wigmore Hall concert – he went on to record the entire cycle for his The Songs of Ronald Corp disc.
The poems chosen for this cycle present a panorama of London from across the centuries. A modified reprise of the first song appears as a coda to the cycle.