Radio 4 recently had a Sunday service called ‘Love Took My Hand’ about the poetry of George Herbert, which took me back to an album – I Shall Be Made Thy Musique – which I made with musician Penelope Cave, and released in 1992. Penelope played harpsichord and virginals.
This album included poetry by George Herbert, John Donne and Henry Vaughan, and was a little out of my normal style! But my affection for these poets, with their interesting spirituality, was something I had wanted to record for some time. Penny was the key as she played the right instruments to go with these poems.
The Radio 4 service came from the Chapel of St John’s College Cambridge. Dean of the Chapel is Mark Oakley – a lover of poetry himself, and he has written a book “The Splash of Words” with the subtitle, “Believing in Poetry.”
The style of my album was a little different from the style of the choir of St John’s College! But it reminded me of this project that I had done with Penny – you can hear the song Love Bade Me Welcome here – this is perhaps a more folky working of the poems, but hopefully treating them with the respect they deserve.