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Last Rose of Summer

The famed 19th century opera singer Jenny Lind, who was known as the "Swedish Nightingale", was brought to America by Connecticut's own P.T. Barnum in 1850. She arrived in September and performed for a crowd of thousands at Castle Garden, New York City.

Conducted by Sir Jules Benedict, her first aria was 'Casta Diva', from Bellini's Norma. At the conclusion of the concert, she accompanied her singing on piano a charming Swedish folk song, - which was quickly followed by thunderous applause! Thus began her extraordinary 'Tour of America' which concluded in 1852.

Visiting the gardens yesterday, enjoying the hint of Fall in the gentle breeze, I couldn't help but think of Jenny Lind singing the simple yet heart-rending song 'The Last Rose of Summer'. She often sang it at the conclusion of her concerts, a tradition that many singers followed well into the 20th century.

Here, as a gesture of appreciation for Jenny Lind, is one of my renditions of the beautiful song "Last Rose of Summer" in which I accompany my singing on Welsh triple harp. Here, I intentionally chose to sing in a 'not so operatic way', in an attempt to capture the refined elements of Art Song combined with the simplicity of Folk Song. You can hear this version here:

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