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Robert Still
1910 - 1971
Great Britain, England
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R. Still
Robert Still (10/06/1910 13/01/1971) was a wide-ranging English composer of tonal music. Still was born in London on 10 June 1910 into a family with a strong interest in music. He was educated at Eton College (192329) and Trinity College, Oxford, where he graduated in history and French, and then in music. He had a younger brother who died aged 16 and a sister who emigrated to Australia. At school and at university Still developed a lifelong interest in racquet sports, including real tennis, in which he one a university sporting blue. Both his father and grandfather were solicitors in a long-established London firm, and he had been intended for the law. He studied music at Oxford under Ernest Walker, Sir Hugh Allen and others (ancestor Peter Still had acted for George III), and then spent two years at the Royal College of Music under C. H. Kitson, Basil Alchin and Gordon Jacob. He also studied under Wilfred Dunwell at Trinity College of Music (modern harmony and counterpoint) and later in life under Hans Keller. Still returned after Oxford to teach music at Eton, moving on in 1938 to become conductor and arranger of the Ballet Trois Arts, a travelling company. Having refused a commission, he spent the Second World War first manning a searchlight in the Cotswolds and then with the Royal Artillery travelling orchestra, which he conducted. He married in 1944 and had four daughters. After the war, the couple moved to Ampfield, Hampshire and in 1949 to Bucklebury, Berkshire. He then devoted himself to composition, although he had considered becoming a Freudian lay psychoanalyst. This interest led him to form the London Imago Society in 1956, along with a friend, Adrian Stokes. An article by Still on the psychology of Gustav Mahler was published by The American Imago Society. He also sat on a selection board for Berkshire Education Authority and advised prospective students over a period of 15 years. Still died of a heart attack on 13 January 1971, having just been elected to the Executive Committee of the Composer's Guild.
When I am dead, my dearest
Period:Modernism
Musical form:song
Text/libretto:Christina (Georgina) Rossetti (1830 - 1894)
"When I am Dead, My Dearest" (Rossetti) for soprano (2 settings - one in G major and one in F major).
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)
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Chr. Rossetti
(text)