The Prince of Sleep,to words by Walter de la Mare is a languid setting, capturing masterfully the absent-minded sentiments of the words; imagery of dreams and the natural world (especially woodland) always seemed to inspire Elgar.
In the Summer of 1925, Elgar produced two songs, The Prince of Sleep and The Herald, and both were on the subject of death, like their immediate predecessor from the year before, The Immortal Legions, and The Wanderer of the year before that. Michael Kennedy refers to the de la Mare setting as being “in the rapt manner Elgar reserved for special moments of vision”, a view with which it is difficult to disagree.
The part-song for SATB unaccompanied Voices is now available as part of the Elkin Choral Series.
Performance time approximately 5 minutes.
Piano accompaniment for practice only.