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Roger Quilter

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Roger Quilter

English Song


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September 21, 1953, St John's Wood, London, United Kingdom

Sir Cuthbert Quilter, 1st Baronet

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Artinquiry roger quilter the man and his music an interview with author valerie langfield

Roger Cuthbert Quilter (1 November 1877 – 21 September 1953) was an English composer, known particularly for his songs.


Roger quilter go lovely rose op 24 3


Born at Hove, Sussex (a commemorative blue plaque is on the house at 4 Brunswick Square), Quilter was a younger son of Sir William Quilter, 1st Baronet, a wealthy noted landowner, politician and art collector.

Roger Quilter was educated first in the preparatory school at Farnborough. He then moved to Eton College and later became a fellow-student of Percy Grainger, Cyril Scott and H. Balfour Gardiner at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt, where he studied for almost five years under the guidance of the German professor of composition Iwan Knorr. Quilter belonged to the Frankfurt Group, a circle of composers who studied at the Hoch Conservatory in the late 1890s. His reputation in England rests largely on his songs and on his light music for orchestra, such as his Children's Overture, with its interwoven nursery rhyme tunes, and a suite of music for the play Where the Rainbow Ends. He is noted as an influence on several English composers, including Peter Warlock.

In November 1936, Quilter's opera Julia was presented at Covent Garden by the British Music Drama Opera Company under the direction of Vladimir Rosing.

Quilter enjoyed a fruitful collaboration with the tenor Gervase Elwes until the latter's death in 1921. As a homosexual, he found it difficult to cope with some of the pressures which he felt were imposed upon him, and eventually deteriorated into mental illness after the loss of his nephew Arnold Guy Vivian during the Second World War.

He died at his home in St John's Wood, London, a few months after celebrations to mark his 75th birthday, and was buried in the family vault at St Mary's Church, Bawdsey, Suffolk.


Roger Quilter's output of songs, more than one hundred in total, added to the canon of English art song that is still sung today. Among the most popular are "Love's Philosophy", "Fair House of Joy", "Come Away Death", "Go, Lovely Rose", "Weep You No More", "By the Sea", and his setting of "O Mistress Mine". Quilter's setting of verses from the Tennyson poem "Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal" is one of his earliest songs but is nonetheless characteristic of the later, mature style.

He also published the Arnold Book of Old Songs, a collection of 16 folk and traditional songs to new accompaniments, dedicated to his nephew Arnold Guy Vivian.

Selected works

  • Four Songs of the Sea
  • Three Studies for Piano, Op. 4 (1910)
  • Where the Rainbow Ends (incidental music) (1911)
  • Love at the Inn (opera)
  • Five English Love Lyrics
  • A Children's Overture (1914)
  • Five Jacobean Lyrics
  • To Julia, Op. 8 (texts of Robert Herrick) (1905)
  • The Fuschia Tree, Op. 25 No. 2 (1923)
  • Three Pastoral Songs, Op. 22
  • Seven Elizabethan Lyrics, Op. 12
  • Three Shakespeare Songs, Op. 6
  • Three English Dances, Op. 11
  • Arnold Book of Old Songs (1921, 1942, pub. 1950)
  • Five Shakespeare Songs, Op. 23
  • Songs

    Weep You No More
    Come Away - Death
    Love's Philosophy
    Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal
    Hey - Ho - The Wind & The Rain
    Music - When Soft Voices Die
    To Daisies
    The Bracelet
    Damask Roses
    Brown Is My Love
    The Faithless Shepherdess
    Julia's Hair
    Arab Love Song
    Fair House of Joy
    By a Fountainside
    The Maiden Blush
    My Life's Delight
    The Wild Flower's Song
    The Night-Piece
    Fairy Lullaby
    Henley / Quilter Song Of The Blackbird: Op 14 - No 4
    Shelley / Quilter Love’s Philosophy: Op 3 - No 1
    Shakespeare / Quilter Fear No More The Heat O’ The Sun: Op 23 - No 1
    Dekker / Quilter O - The Month Of May: Op24 - No4
    Shakespeare / Quilter O Mistress Mine: Op 6 - No 2
    Shakespeare / Quilter Take - O Take Those Lips Away: Op 23 - No 4
    Shelley / Quilter Music - When Soft Voices Die: Op 25 - No 5
    Herrick / Quilter I Dare Not Ask A Kiss: Op 28 - No 3
    Quilter Weep You No More: Op 12 - No 1
    Shakespeare / Quilter Come Away - Death: Op 6 - No 1
    Herrick / Quilter To Daisies: Op 8 - No 3
    The Earl of Rochester / Quilter The Jealous Lover: Op 28 - No 1


    Roger Quilter Wikipedia

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