This is a wonderful collection for children's choir. The 1977 recording by Colet Court Boys Choir shows that the pieces are great fun to perform and rewarding to listen to.
The sequence of five songs begins with a haunting prologue setting the scene for James Reeves’ Prefabulous Animiles which live on the edges of sleep. This leads to the lumbering Hippocrump whose stomach ache can only be salved by pushing him in the lake. The Bisk, who only lives to sing, comes with her own doo-wap backing group and the smile of the most sinister creature in the group, The Catipoce, is craftily written into the final bars. The sequence ends with the joyous Nonny who explodes in a disagreement between singers and piano.
On the recording two further poems, The Snyke and The Doze were recited after the third and fourth items.
To extend the theme of mysterious beasts, this piece could be programmed with Betty Roe and Marian Lines “musical fable” The Storm Hound. Anonym
- (London, United Kingdom)