A Charm of Lullabies was written by Britten in December 1947 for the mezzo-soprano Nancy Evans, with a piano accompaniment. It brings together an anthology of diverse texts unified by the themes of night and sleep.
This orchestration of A Charm of Lullabies was made in 1990. In order to give the work the extra dimension required for an orchestral song-cycle, the original has been expanded in some places. The sleep and dream worlds of the original songs, a theme that preoccupied Britten in two of his other cycles, the Serenade and the Nocturne, are preserved in the arrangement.
It was first performed in Indianapolis by Maureen Forrester and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra under Raymond Leppard in January 1991.
Published by Boosey & Hawkes.