The Banks of Green Willow
George Butterworth


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Up 15. Butterworth is a Hall of Fame One Hit Wonder.

Butterworth was a great English composer who never fulfilled his potential because his life was cut tragically short in the First World War. However, the prevailing view among music historians is that this was a young man who had much, much more to offer the world of classical music.

The Banks of Green Willow was written in 1913, a short pastoral idyll. It is loosely based on the song that Vaughan Williams had lovingly recorded on one of his folk safaris in 1909. It has become almost a symbol of that long-lost halcyon Edwardian age, as if Butterworth were transcribing the disappearing world around him.

Herd on the River Bank by Ivan Shishkin.