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Eliot and Lorca

There also followed brief returns on a small scale to the texts of the two poets who had stimulated many of ApIvor's most important works of his early period, Eliot and Lorca. Among the most significant are the meditative partial setting from Part II of Ash Wednesday, 'Lady of Silences', Op. 97 and the melancholy T.S. Eliot Songs, Op. 95, both completed in 1994. Significantly, the latter contains two minor poems 'Eyes that last I saw in tears' and 'The wind sprang up at four o'clock', which had functioned as Eliot's preliminary sketches for The Hollow Men, sharing imagery with the latter, such as 'the eyes' and the 'blackened river'. ApIvor's set of five Lorca songs, Op. 100, composed in 1996 also revisits the past, drawing upon elements of the cante jondo for their musical basis and are remarkably similar stylistically to ApIvor's first setting of Lorca, the Seis Canciones of 1945-46. It is thus significant that those textual sources with which ApIvor's musical career had begun should also have provided the final comments upon his life's work: from 1996, he was beset by blindness, which made all further attempts at composition practically impossible.