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Monday, 22 May 2017

Thomas Linley the younger: Music for The Tempest, "Arise! ye spirits of the storm"

"Arise! ye spirits of the storm,
Appal the guilty eye,
Tear the wild waves, ye mighty winds,
Ye fated lightnings fly,
Dart thro' the tempest of the deep,
And rocks and seas confound,
Hark how the vengeful thunders roll,
Amazement flames around.
Behold the fate-devoted bark
Dash'd on the trembling shore;
Mercy the sinking wretches cry!
Mercy! they're heard no more."

Chamber orchestra Pratum Integrum and vocal ensemble Intrada perform "Arise! ye spirits of the storm" from Music for The Tempest by Thomas Linley the younger (1756-1778) - YouTube video

This CD contains the recording of "Arise! ye spirits of the storm" (lyric by his brother-in-law, Richard Brinsley Sheridan?), and other Music for The Tempest (1777), that I have heard:

It evokes images of shipwrecks (Sea Venture), tempests and hurricanes off the island of Bermuda.

It's been described as an eighteenth century 'smash hit', composed by the 'English Mozart'.

It is both tragic and ironic that the young (22-year-old) Thomas Linley drowned after his boat overturned on a castle's ornamental lake during a storm.

See this biographical note from Eighteenth Century English Music, and the following section in particular:

"In July 1778 Linley went with his sisters to Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire as guests of the Duke of Ancaster and his family. On 5th August Linley went boating on the Castle lake with two friends. During a storm the boat overturned and, whilst attempting to swim ashore, the 22 year old Linley tragically drowned. It was reported in the Morning Chronicle on 11th August, “On Wednesday last Mr. Thomas Linley……fell into a lake belonging to his Grace the Duke of Ancaster…..and was unfortunately drowned; he remained under water full forty minutes, so that every effort made to restore him to life proved ineffectual. This accident has deprived the profession to which he belonged of one its principal ornaments, and society of a very accomplished and valuable member”.

John William Waterhouse, Miranda - The Tempest (1916)

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