Here is an original score for Theophilus Marzials’s popular song ‘Ask Nothing More’ (1883). The words are from Swinburne’s poem ‘The Oblation’ (Songs Before Sunrise, 1871).
I played my own recording of this piece at the British Association of Decadence Studies conference, Aesthetic Time Decadent Archives, earlier this week. I also played Maytime in Midwinter by Mary Wakefield. Marzials dedicated Ask Nothing More to Wakefield.
You can hear the music to Ask Nothing More on an earlier post about Marzials and also hear his strange (but rather lovely) adaptation of Swinburne’s ‘Félise’ (Poems and Ballads, 1866) by clicking the links here:
Just out of passing interest, here’s the original singer of Ask Nothing More and whose vocal talents helped sell Marzials’s song. His name appears at the top of the song’s title page: Francis Barrington Foote. A news-clipping from June 1899 has Barrington Foote singing Ask Nothing More at a ‘smoking’ concert in Lichfield. He was ‘in capital voice’ (despite his obvious liking for a cigarette). Apparently, several ladies were in the audience, having braved ‘the element of smoke’.