London Remembered - Elizabeth Taylor and John Barry

Taylor Comes Home

You wouldn't think there were hidden gems to be unearthed that are connected to Elizabeth Taylor. Even before social networking her every movement seemed fit for public scrutiny. Consider, however, Elizabeth Taylor in London. A soundtrack album derived from a sixty-minute TV special made in 1963 in which Elizabeth was filmed on location in London reciting famous English poetry and prose to the accompaniment of music by Tweed Towers favourite John Barry.

The film and album present a rather romantic and engaging image of London and England. The album was available through El Records, an imprint of Cherry Red Records. Not sure if it's still being distributed. Sadly, the film has no current distribution.

Against the elegiac strings of the musical score, Elizabeth's recitations are beautifully expressed and endearingly earnest. Of its time, but refreshing for the lack of tiresome knowingness and insincerity that might accompany such a project today.

Set your alarm to wake up to her beautiful voice on London at Dawn, based on Wordsworth's poem Composed upon Westminster Bridge, and you can't help but start the day feeling more kindly disposed to the world.

Composed Upon Westminster Bridge

Earth hath not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.

Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! The very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!


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