With Edgar Allan Poe on my mind, sharing a musical version of 'Annabel Lee'
This week, "The Completely Fictional -- Utterly True -- Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe" opened at Center Stage, offering a hefty reminder of Baltimore's most iconic former resident.
I will have more to say about the play shortly. Meanwhile, I wanted to share a song that started running through my head anew.
It's my favorite musical setting of Poe-etry -- "Annabel Lee," by the English composer Henry Leslie.
I think of it as a perfect example of the Victorian drawing room ballad and an awfully effective treatment of Poe's bittersweet words, with a well-crafted melody that works its way quickly into the ear and the telltale 6/8 meter long associated with the sea. Seems like it should be much better known.
I don't think the song could be more elegantly sung than it is here by the late Robert Tear, accompanied at the piano by Andre Previn: