The Time Draws Near the Birth of Christ

Edward Lear published two collections of arrangements of Alfred Tennyson’s poems. This first, in 1853, included four settings (‘Edward Gray’, ‘A Farewell’, ‘Tears, Idle Tears’, and ‘Sweet and Low’), the second, in 1859, added five more, including the one I am posting this week, for obvious reasons: The Time Draws Near the Birth of Christ. It is a setting of section CIV of In Memoriam.

The song is from a casette published in 1984 by Cabaletta (TCDN 5004) and was performed by tenor Robert Tear, accompanied by Gareth Morrell. Besides all nine Lear settings of Tennyson’s poems, the cassette contains five Liza Lehmann’s arrangements of Belloc’s Cautionary Tales and two more songs by Sterndale Bennett. The recording must be very obscure as I cannot find any reference to it anywhere, except on my page on Edward Lear and Music: time for a reprint?

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