Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)

Poets Set to Music and Their Translators

This page provides a chronological list of the writers whose texts Sorabji set to music between 1915 and 1973, or more precisely, 1915-20, 1926, 1927, 1941, 1967, and 1973. It also lists the translators (in italics) whose versions he used. Also given are their years of birth and death as well as their country of origin, followed by the titles of the resulting works.

Years in italics are uncertain and have this special formatting instead of the abbreviation ca.; unknown dates are replaced with strings of zeros to allow correct sorting. The number in the rightmost column gives the order in which Sorabji approached the poets, with “0” used to group translators when sorting on this column. The date given between parentheses at the end of the titles in the penultimate column makes it clear in which work the composer first set a text by a given poet.

According to Sorabji’s friend Norman Peterkin, “The Influence of Occidental Music on the Orient”, The Musical Times 61, no. 931 (1 September 1920): 605-8; 606, a setting of 1915 of a text by the French Symbolist poet Albert Victor Samain (1858-1900) would exist. No such song has yet been found; it could be located in a private collection if it is extant.

See the English translations of the poems set to music by Sorabji, and links to text and audio files for some of the texts set by him.

For the Unicode characters needed to represent the letters with diacritics used in the names below, see page Titles of Works Containing Diacritics.

Click on a column heading to sort, then shift-click on other headings to sort on multiple columns.
Surround strings with quotation marks for specific searches. Refresh the page to revert to the initial order.

Name Birth Death Country Titles Order
Name Birth Death Country Titles Order
Ibrāhīm Mīrzā, Shamsuʾd-Dīn 0000 0000 Persia Arabesque (1920; 2 pp.) 12
Assisi, St. Francis of 1182 1226 Italy Benedizione di San Francesco d’Assisi (1973; 2 pp.) 17
Saʿdī, Abū Abdiʾllah Mušarrifuʾd-Dīn Ibn Muṣliḥud-Dīn 1213 1291 Persia Trois poèmes du “Gulistān” de Saʿdī (1926, rev. 1930; 16 pp.) 14
Gami [recte Ǧāmī], Mawlānā Nūruʾd-Dīn ʿAbduʾr-Raḥmān 1414 1492 Persia Symphony [no. 2], “Jāmī”, for Large Orchestra, Wordless Chorus, and Baritone Solo (1942-51; 826 pp.) 15
Michelangelo Buonarroti 1475 1564 Italy Cinque sonetti di Michelagniolo Buonarroti (1923; 40 pp.) 13
Baudelaire, Charles 1821 1867 France Trois poèmes pour chant et piano (1918, 1919; 9 pp.): “Correspondances”

L’irrémédiable (1927; 8 pp.)

Trois poèmes (1941; 13 pp.): “Les chats”
Mallarmé, Stéphane 1842 1896 France Apparition (1916; 5 pp.) 5
Verlaine, Paul 1844 1896 France L’heure exquise (1916; 2 pp.)

Trois fêtes galantes de Verlaine (ca. 1919; 11 pp.)

Trois poèmes pour chant et piano (1918, 1919; 9 pp.): “Crépuscule du soir mystique”, “Pantomime”

Trois poèmes (1941; 13 pp.): “Le faune”, “La dernière fête galante”
Rollinat, Maurice 1846 1903 France L’étang (1917; 2 pp.) 7
Tailhade, Laurent 1854 1919 France Hymne à Aphrodite (1916; 5 pp.) 6
Gilkin, Iwan 1858 1924 Belgium Le mauvais jardinier (1919; 1 p.) 9
Browne, Edward Granville (translator of Jāmī) 1862 1926 England   0
Régnier, Henri de 1864 1936 France Chrysilla (1915; 4 pp.) 2
Dowson, Ernest 1867 1900 England I Was Not Sorrowful—​Poem for Voice and Piano [Spleen] (between 1917 and 1919; 3 pp.) 8
Louÿs, Pierre 1870 1925 France Roses du soir (1915; 4 pp.) 3
Dučić, Jovan 1871 1943 Serbia The Poplars (1915; 3 pp.) 1
Toussaint, Franz (translator of Saʿdī) 1879 1955 France   0
Selver, Paul (translator of Jovan Dučić) 1888 1970 England   0
Nichols, Robert (Malise Bowyer) 1893 1944 England Music to “The Rider by Night” (1919; 54 pp.) 11
Morland, Harold 1908 1999 England Frammento cantato (1967; 1 p.) 16
Last modified: 2021-05-21
© Marc-André Roberge 2021
Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)
Faculté de musique, Université Laval, Québec

The contents of this website devoted to the English composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji may be freely used for documentary purposes in a research context provided that due credit is given but may not be mirrored on any other server. Links to external or third-party websites cannot be guaranteed to be, or remain, valid or persistent, and their contents cannot be guaranteed to be, or remain, accurate or appropriate.

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