Folk Songs from Sussex for Voice & Guitar by George Butterworth
George Butterworth was of Yorkshire ancestry. His father opposed his intention to pursue a career as a musician, and as a consequence Butterworth was obliged to support himself. He served on the staff of The Times and in 1910 entered the Royal College of Music.
Two years before the Great War (1914-1918) he became friends with composer Ralph Vaughan Williams and expanded his interest in the collection of English folk music and in Morris dancing. He also became active through the encouragement of Cecil Sharp in the English Folk Dance Society and personally collected or notated over 450, often roaming the countryside and with use of an early phonograph recording device. His most famous orchestral works, The Banks of Green Willow, Two English Idylls and A Shopshire Lad are infused with them.
At the outbreak of the First World War, Butterworth joined the British Army as a private and later accepted a commission as a lieutenant. He was awarded the Military Cross but was unfortunately killed by sniper fire at the Battle of the Somme in August of 1916. His remains were never recovered.
Butterworth did not write a great deal of music, and before and during the war he destroyed many works he did not care for, lest he should not return and have the chance to revise them. These eleven Folk-Songs, here adapted for voice and guitar by guitarist Gregg Nestor, are simply and clearly set. They are presented in the order as originally published and can be played as a cycle or individually presented for the concert stage.