Jane Austen's Songs of the Sea [Concert program]
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Among the music in Jane Austen’s personal music collection are many songs about sailors and the sea. Britain was at war for most of Austen’s lifetime and two of her brothers were naval officers. The program includes songs about life at sea and coming home, songs about the wives and families left behind, sailors’ love songs, and songs about war and revolution. Many of the songs are drawn from the rich folk heritage of the period. Others are written by composers including William Shield, Samuel Arnold, Stephen Storace and the prolific Charles Dibdin, whose comic and sentimental songs Austen seems to have been especially fond of. There are arrangements of Haydn and Handel tunes, and there is even a love song written by Matthew Flinders – the colleague of Jane Austen’s younger brother.