FREE DOWNLOAD: Lost Benjamin Britten and W.H. Auden Collaboration, 'Roman Wall Blues,' Recorded by NMC

By James Inverne on Jul 24, 2013 05:08 PM EDT

Recent years have seen the bringing to light of long-lost works by a storied list of composers, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Beethoven, and Joseph Martin Kraus among them--but surely none had such serendipitous timing as the turning up of Benjamin Britten's Roman Wall Blues.

This year, as every self-confessed classical music fan knows, is the centenary of the English composer's birth.

The cabaret-style song, an early Britten work, has been recorded by the NMC label--a bastion of new music. Mary Carewe is the singer, with Huw Watkins the pianist.

And NMC have made it available as a free download on their website:

It's a fine recording of a fresh, short and melodic number, without the complexities that mark his later songs.

The song was written for a 1937 radio play by W.H. Auden, Hadrian's Wall. But that tape was lost, and the song along with it--until an elderly chorister from that first performance was revealed to have a score.

That was in 2005, and now, eight years later, the new recording has been made, with a piano part supplied by NMC founder Colin Matthews, who knew and worked with Britten.

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TagsJames Inverne, Britten, W.H. Auden, Roman Wall Blues, Hadrian's Wall, NMC Recordings, Colin Matthews, Mary Carewe, Huw Watkins, Twitter

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