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John Jeffreys
1927 - 2010
Great Britain, England
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J. Jeffreys
John Jeffreys (04/12/1927 - 03/09/2010), an English composer, a multi-talented song composer whose sensitive, gentle settings of English poetry have recently found favour with distinguished singers including Ian Partridge, James Gilchrist and Jonathan Veira. The musical climate in the 1970s was not sympathetic to a composer of such traditional bent, and, disheartened, Jeffreys destroyed much of his work. However, in 1983 he chanced upon four reels of tape recordings made in 1966, and reconstructed most of the songs on them. Jeffreys was born in Thanet, Kent, the youngest of three sons with Welsh parents. His father was a Congregational minister. However, church music, despite a late-flowering interest in organ music, did not figure greatly in his output as a composer. His earliest literary inspiration came from the poetry in his father's library, and his early musical inspiration came from his mother, "who was blessed with a soprano voice capable of singing intensively quietly".
A requiem - Sing no sad songs for me
Musical form:song
Text/libretto:Christina (Georgina) Rossetti (1830 - 1894)
"Sing no sad songs for me" for voice and piano.
When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain:
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.

Christina Rossetti
(from Goblin Market and other Poems, published 1862)
Chr. Rossetti