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Baker's Dozen

Cabin Fever: Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s Favourite Music
Stephanie Phillips , May 5th, 2021 09:24

Beverly Glenn-Copeland takes Stephanie Phillips through the albums that fuelled his love for music over the years, from the soundtracks to secluded woodland trips to meetings with younger artists inspired by his work and how he found the work of Sting


Kathleen Ferrier – Mahler’s Das-lied-von-der-Erde
Mahler’s Das-lied-von-der-Erde is one of my favourites in the whole world, and particularly one piece that she sings on here ‘Ich bin der Weltabhanden Gekommen’. I first heard it when I went to [McGill] university to study classical music as a vocalist. This would have been 1961. The teacher that I was given was a profound teacher, but also a profound vocalist himself [Canadian composer, Bernard Diamant]. He became internationally known after I left him for specifically for the song repertoire of the 18th, 19th, and very early 20th century.

He introduced me to this piece because I learned to sing it. The words themselves are just stunning, what they said, basically is I have abandoned the world and it talks about having receded into a place of total quiet where whatever is going on in the world was no longer where this being was living within himself.

It's one of the songs that if I was ever going to sing [classical] music again, which I'm not thinking about, but if I were to think about that I have considered that I would love to record this particular piece. It just so happens that one of my very dearest friends is a superb pianist, and she and I have been scheming for years. Do we record a bunch of these things? They wouldn't sell but that's not the point. The point is I would just love to do it.

I have a very deep connection to this music. So deep it's unbelievable. I was really good at singing this particular type of repertoire. I think it was 1966 or 1967, I actually got to represent Canada [at a World Festival] singing this kind of music. I was good at what I did enough to be considered a professional, but one day I had this understanding that I was living a life I'd already lived. That I had been a singer of this kind of music, in some other lifetime, and that's why I was so good, because [laughs] I had already done it.