Graham Peel

Graham Peel studied at Harrow and Oxford University with Ernest Walker, and was a welfare worker for much of his life. He seems to have been almost exclusively a song composer, of which he produced about a hundred, exclusive of folk song settings, though there were a few piano solos. He studied singing with George Henschel. In Summertime on Bredon remains popular and if it is more ballad-like than the settings by Butterworth and Vaughan Williams, this simple setting has claims to be regarded as the most attractive of all the versions of those frequently set words. Peel altogether set four of the Housman poems from The Shropshire Lad, published as a cycle and of which Reveille is particularly striking; other "cycles" included the Bad Child's Songs About Beasts, and Leaves from a Child's Garden, both for children, Four Love Songs and The Country Lover (five songs). Peel's genuine lyrical gift which hovers between ballad and art-song but perhaps is more often nearer the former should not be lost to us.