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Flos Lunae

Other songs composed during this period suggest a more secular idolatry, as in Flos Lunae (1939), a setting of a short poem by Ernest Dowson (1867-1900). ApIvor's interest in Dowson is likely to have been sparked by the music of Frederick Delius (1862-1934) who made made several Dowson settings, most notably in the Songs of Sunset (1906-7), and the orchestral song, Cynara (1929). In his autobiography, ApIvor reveals an interest in Delius centred around his affinity with the composer's decadence:

Less important for my future development, but equally profound at the time, was the impact of the programme of Delius' works given by Beecham in 1934. It appeared to me at the time that Delius was the true, perhaps the only musical poet to express the atmosphere of the so-called 'decadence' of the nineties; the equivalent in sound of the almost suicidal, sorrowful, nostalgia of poems like the Seraphita and Cynara of Dowson.

'Flos Lunae' in fact marks the beginning of an interest in Dowson's poetry that was be more fully expressed in the later cycle Love's Season, Op. 76 (1983).

ApIvor was also inclined towards humorous lyrics during this period, as found in the songs 'If ever I marry' (1937), 'Farra-diddle dyno' (1937), 'Cakes and ale' (1938) and 'The Carrion Crow' (1939). The resultant settings, which incorporate a simpler musical language, reflect a more extrovert and mischievous side of ApIvor's musical personality.