LCSNA Fall Meeting, 2021
WCLD Radio Alice
«Mike Batt presents “The Composing of the Snark”: Does setting Snark to music involve more forks and hope, or smiles and soap? Mike Batt takes us behind the music and details the creation of his concept album and West End stage musical The Hunting of the Snark.»
[…] [Jabberwocky] has also been interpreted as a parody of contemporary Oxford scholarship and specifically the story of how Benjamin Jowett, the notoriously agnostic Professor of Greek at Oxford, and Master of Balliol, came to sign the Thirty-Nine Articles, as an Anglican statement of faith, to save his job. […]
Stephen Prickett (2005): Victorian Fantasy, Baylor University Press, p. 113, ISBN 1-932792-30-9
Unlike Benjamin Jowett, the Rev. Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) didn’t sign, but managed to save his job nevertheless without being ordained as a priest.
Today (2021-03-14) I learned about Brian Dewan, because he used my assemblage on the cover of his The Hunting of the Snark. His recording (2017) has aired in London and New York. The borrowing is fine with me, because for the assemblage I too borrowed illustrations. They were made by two 19th century artists.
«In 1987 Mike Batt recorded this concert of the early stage album of his “Snark” project. This is not a film of the eventual 1991 West End show, which was much more fully produced and had many more songs and more story. This early concert starred John Hurt, Roger Daltrey, Justin Hayward, Deniece Williams, Captain Sensible, Julian Lennon, Midge Ure, and Billy Connolly, with Batt conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. Music/lyrics/orchestrations by Mike Batt. Based on the poem (as recited in the narration) written by Lewis Carroll.»
※ 2020-07-22, Interview: John Murray Lunchtime Show with Mike Batt. The whole show on k107FM is worth listening to, but if you are very impatient and want to learn more about Mike Batt’s Snark musical right away, start at 01:18:45 in the podcast.
If anyone's bored, my office have just posted my "Director Showreel". It's about 5 years old but someone found it! Anyway who knows, you might want me to direct your music spectacular feature! https://t.co/Y8EHIDeXMm
※ La Chasse Au Snark (studio version, 1968, 15:53)
※ Sa Triste Histoire Il S’Offrit à Dire (live version, 1969, 15:49)
※ Car Le Jubjub Etait Un Boojum, Voyez-Vous (Happening At La Vieille Grille 1967-8/Biennale de Paris 1971, 16:54)
※ Survint Un Silence Suprême (live version, 1968, 20:12)
Tony Robinson narrates this fresh adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic masterpiece following a strange assortment of characters on their quest for an elusive beast.
Led by a bell-ringing Captain, this motley crew must brave terrifying danger in their chaotic pursuit of a creature known as Snark. Accompanied by specially composed music and songs, this surreal tale questions whether anything is really what it seems. …
– Narrator: Tony Robinson
– Bellman: Eric Potts
– Baker: Paul Barnhill
– Butcher: Everal A Walsh
– Barrister: Jonathan Keeble
– Snark (in the Barrister’s dream): Jonathan Keeble
– Beaver: Stephen Hoyle
– Music and songs (composer): Katie Chatburn
– Music (performers):
– Katie Chatburn
– Dorry Macaulay
– Kathryn Williams
– Stephen Cordiner
– Jasper Wilkinson
– Director: Charlotte Riches
– Author: Lewis Carroll
The recording is part of the 7 CDs album Listen – The Art of Arne Nordheim. There are other recordings of Nordheim Snark compositions available in the Internet, like The Hunting of the Snark for Trombone only. But I like the Return most.
HUNTING OF THE SNARK
Topics BBC Radio, Dramatised reading, Lewis Carroll, The Snark, nonsense verse
Michael Bakewell examines the various interpretations of Lewis Carroll’s nonsense verse published in 1876, about “an impossible voyage of an improbable crew to find an inconceivable creature” and introduces a dramatised reading.
Music: Steven Faux
Narrator: Alan Bennett
Bellman: Paul Daneman
Baker: David Collings
Butcher: David King
Snark: Peter Penry Jones
Douglas YOUNG (b.1947)
The Hunting of the Snark (An Agony in 8 Fits)
Narrator – Peter Easton
Douglas Young – Piano and Percussion
The Leicestershire Chorale and Members of the Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra/Peter Fletcher
rec. Bosworth College, Desford, 14 March 1982 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9106 [53.21]
What is so marvellous is how well the young instrumental musicians at the time, played and clearly reacted to the music (their names are listed in the booklet) and my colleague at the time on MusicWeb, John Whitmore, is quoted as saying “the playing is good absolute rather than good considering”, I can’t improve on those words.
The booklet contains the original, Monty Python type, illustrations you find in any good copy of the poem, by Henry Holiday (d.1927) as well as the complete Carroll text and biographies of the performers but no composer’s note on the work.
Mounty Python type! I like that.
Besides Lewis Carroll’s textual allusions and Henry Holiday’s pictorial allusions, I now also found a piece with musical allusions. Accompanying the Bellman’s “That English is what you speak” with Greensleeves is clear, whereas I don’t know whether Young meant to allude to Schnittke when I heared Schnittke. Then again, to choose Silent Night to accompany the Baker’s gruesome end is wonderfully naughty.
As far as I know, this recording is in the market since 2014. From MusicWeb it received three reviews, with Paul Corfield Godfrey‘s review inbetween Whitmore‘s and Higginson‘s reviews. As a layman I would like to add to these that if I ever would dare to try to learn The Hunting of the Snark by heart, I would use this recording to help me memorizing the text.
Remark: The links in the quoted text from MusicWeb had been added in snrk.de and were not part of the original text.