The Isle of Lost Dreams (1909)
Songs in Time of War Pt.1
In the first of a five-part series, Robin Tritschler sings Browne's 'Isle of Lost Dreams'.
In February 1915 the young English composer William Denis Browne boarded the HMS Grantully Castle, bound for Gallipoli. With him was his fellow Sub Lieutenant, Rupert Brooke. Browne and Brooke had been to school and university together, part of a golden generation at Cambridge. It seems likely Browne was in love with the poet, too, described by Yeats as ‘the handsomest young man in England’.
Browne wasn’t to know that he’d end up burying Rupert Brooke, two months later, on the Greek island of Skyros. Brooke died of blood poisoning, following a mosquito bite. Five years earlier Denis Browne wrote this — 'The Isle of Lost Dreams'. With the benefit of hindsight it now seems an epitaph to both Browne and Brooke, and to all that gilded youth. Browne was killed at Gallipoli. His body was never discovered.
Robin Tritschler (tenor), Iain Burnside (piano)