music

Félise, 1878

This strange and slightly drunk waltz by Theophilus Marzials feels apt for the Swinburne poem from which he took the words – ‘Félise’, from Poems and Ballads, First Series (1866). It’s a poem about the ending of an affair, though… Read More ›

Rondel – Kissing her Hair

This was the first piece of music to be inspired by one of Swinburne’s poems. From 1867, Walter Maynard’s Kissing Her Hair takes its name from the first line of Swinburne’s ‘Rondel‘, from Poems and Ballads (1866). Maynard was the pseudonym of Thomas W. Beale (1828-1894), a… Read More ›

Ask Nothing More

Ask Nothing More, by the unconventional Theophilus Marzials (1850-1920), was a hugely successful song of the 1880s. The lyrics were taken from Swinburne’s ‘The Oblation‘ (Songs Before Sunrise, 1871). Marzials was also a poet, and wrote what has often been claimed as the… Read More ›

Atalanta in Calydon

This is the overture to the 1906 production of Swinburne’s play Atalanta in Calydon (1865), composed by Muriel Elliot, who published the full score in 1912. Originally performed at the Crystal Palace in South London and the (since demolished) Scala Theatre, it… Read More ›

The Triumph of Time

Composed by Adela Maddison (a.k.a. Mrs Brunning Maddison, 1862-1929), from Twelve Songs (Op. 9, No. 3), 1895, London: Metzler & Co. This is a really terrific adaption, translation, or perhaps transmutation of Swinburne’s text. Moody, elemental, maybe it’s music that’s playing poetic and… Read More ›