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|7th May 2013||Howard's setting of the great Kipling poem 'IF' is to be performed by massed choirs of Thomas's Day Schools, organ and orchestra,|
|23rd March 1999||Massed choir of Thomas's Day Schools, Band of the Brigade of the Ghurkas, English Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Howard Blake, Royal Albert Hall|
Why are composers drawn to a particular poem? 'Because it jumps out of the page' is the simple answer given to me by one contemporary composer of a Kipling song. It is perhaps surprising that the masterpiece and nation's favourite in 1995, "If-", has not been better served by musicians. The Czech composer Otmar Mácha included it in his Songs of Men (1947) and Howard Blake's striking setting was recorded live in the Royal Albert Hall on the 23rd March 1999.
Brian Mattinson, Kipling and music 'The tunes that mean so much', 2007