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Heritage Vocal

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297JohnCarolCase

English Song: John Carol Case

English Song: John Carol CaseJOHN CAROL CASE, baritone
DAPHNE IBBOTT, piano

HTGCD297 – 5060332661435

The aristocrat of English baritones’, said Michael Oliver. He was a versatile singer, with a repertoire that stretched from Fauré to Schoenberg, and his noble countenance made him perfect to sing Christ in Bach’s St Matthew Passion, his signature role. But his eloquent and lyrical voice, combined with his impeccable enunciation, also made him the ideal exponent of English song, qualities that are clearly demonstrated in these recordings of Elgar, Somervell and Butterworth. These recordings are taken from an early SAGA LP of Elgar songs dating from 1969 and his farewell solo recording for Pearl in 1974 featuring Somervell’s Maud and Six Songs from ‘A Shropshire Lad’.

Performance: *****
Recording: ****
A masterly interpreter of English song, John Carol Case is caught here very late in his career, though in fine voice.
– George Hall, BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2015

The beautiful drawn-out opening phrases of ‘Loveliest of trees’ immediately instils confidence….. It is worth buying the disc for this mini-cycle alone.
– Tully Potter, MusicWeb International, November 2015, of Butterworth.

Track Listing

ARTHUR SOMERVELL (1863-1937)

      MAUD (Tennyson)

  1. I hate the dreadful hollow   
  2. A voice by the cedar tree  
  3. She came to the village church   
  4. O let the solid ground  
  5. Birds in the high Hall-garden   
  6. Maud has a garden   
  7. Go not, happy day   
  8. I have led her home   
  9. Come into the garden, Maud   
  10. The fault was mine   
  11. Dead, long dead   
  12. O that ‘twere possible    
  13. Epilogue: My life has crept so long    

GEORGE BUTTERWORTH (1885-1916)

    SIX SONGS FROM ‘A SHROPSHIRE LAD’ (A.E. Houseman)

  1. Loveliest of trees   
  2. When I was one-and-twenty   
  3. Look not in my eyes   
  4. Think no more, lad   
  5. The lads in their hundreds   
  6. Is my team ploughing?    

EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934)

  1. Twilight, Op. 59 No. 6 (G. Parker)   3.27
  2. Clapham Town End (Trad. ed. Percy)   3.15
  3. The River, Op. 60 No. 2 (‘P.D’Alba’)   3.30
  4. The Shepherd’s Song, Op. 16 No. 1 (B. Pain)  2.44
  5. Modest and Fair from The Spanish Lady (Jonson)   1.51
  6. Still to be neat The Spanish Lady (Jonson)   1.53
  7. Rondel, Op. 16 No. 3 (Longfellow, after Froissart)   1.44
  8. O Salutaris Hostia (ed. Percy Young)   4.41

Total time:  68’58’’

The Voice of Janet Baker

The Voice of Janet Baker

Janet Baker (contralto)
Martin Isepp and Ernest Lush (piano)
The Voice of Janet Baker

HTGCD290/91 – 5060332661343

Through her many recordings, Dame Janet Baker’s voice has been a constant presence in the lives of millions of people, so it is amazing to contemplate that she last sang in opera at Glyndebourne in 1982 and retired altogether in 1989, aged only 56. These two compact discs take us back to the beginning of her recording career, when she was in her late 20s and early 30s but already an experienced, accomplished singer. Two recordings for the SAGA label were made in the early 1960s, both of which feature here. The most important is perhaps the LP of English songs since she never returned to any of them on record. The lieder recital abounds with beautiful technique and tone. The two SAGA recordings are supplemented by a 1960 recital she made for the BBC Third Programme with Ernest Lush.

Performance: *****
Recording: ****
‘Early recorded recitals of Lieder and English song are complemented by Brahms broadcasts from the same period; already Baker’s art is one to reckon with, and her voice unique.’

– George Hall, BBC Music Magazine, September 2015

‘Mandatory listening for Baker fans – a young voice, lighter in timbre than it became, used with intelligence and great beauty.’
– James Jolly, Gramophone Awards Issue, September 2015

‘These are precious discs, full of performances by a great artist at the height of her powers, sharing with us her insights into the riches of these works, and communicating them with such commitment and beauty.’
– Gwyn Parry-Jones, MusicWeb International, September 2015

‘Her reading of the Schumann cycle is one of radiance but also depth, the steady unfolding of heartfelt love. It is one of the great Frauenliebes on disc… this is a record of glorious lieder singing, beautifully accompanied with a warm-toned piano.’
– Music-Web International, July 2015

‘This Baker collection was and remains iconic… her voice is powerful, towering… Her tone is honey itself and if meticulous attention to the shaping and articulation of the words can now at times sound precious Baker’s musicality and intelligence carry the day’
– Music-Web International, July 2015

Track Listing

CD 1 50’

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) 
Frauenliebe und Leben op.42 
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) 

Heimliches Lieben D.922 [04:33], Minnelied D.429, Die Abgeblühte Linde , Der Musensohn D.764 
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) 

Die Mainacht op.43/2, Das Mädchen spricht op. 107/3, Nachtigall op.97/1, Von ewiger Liebe op.43/1 
Martin Isepp (piano); recorded in 1965 for SAGA

Von ewiger Liebe, op. 43/1 (Wenzig)
Ernest Lush (piano); taken from a BBC studio recital, broadcast on 07/02/61. 

 

CD 2 78’

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) 
The Call (1911, from Five Mystical Songs
Youth and Love (1904, Songs of Travel
John IRELAND (1879-1962) 
A Thanksgiving (1938) 
Her Song (1925, Songs to Thomas Hardy Poems) 
Michael Dewar HEAD, (1900-1976) 
A Piper (1923) 
Cecil Armstrong GIBBS (1889-1960) 
This is a Sacred City (By a Bierside) (1924) 
Love is a Sickness, Op.44/1 (1922) 
Thomas Frederick DUNHILL (1877-1946) 
The Cloths of Heaven, Op.30/3 (1916?) 
Peter WARLOCK (1894-1930) 
Balulalow (Trad, 16th Cent. arr Warlock) 
Youth (1928) 
Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983)
King David (1921)
Come Sing and Dance (1928)
Ivor GURNEY (1890-1937)
Sleep (from Five Elizabethan Songs)
I Will Go with My Father a-ploughing
Thomas DUNHILL
To the Queen of heaven
Gerald FINZI (1901-1956)
Come away, come away, death
It was a lover and his lass
(both from Let us garlands bring, Op.18, 1942)

Martin Isepp (piano);  recorded in 1963 for SAGA

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1883-1897)

O wüsst’ ich doch den Weg zurürk, Op. 63 No. 8 (Groth); kuhler Wald, Op. 72 No. 3 (Brentano); Geheimnis, Op. 71 No. 3 (Candidus); Nachtwandler, Op. 86 No. 3 (Kalbeck); Wir wandelten, wir zwei zusammen, Op. 96 No. 2  (Daumer); Meerfahrt, Op. 96 No. 4 (Heine); Standchen, Op. 106 No. 1 (Kugler); Ein Wanderer, Op. 106 No. 5 (Reinhold) ; Regenlied, Op. 59 No. 3 (Groth); Das Madchen spricht, Op. 107 No.3 (Gruppe); Madchenlied, Op. 107 No. 5 (Heyse); Mondnacht, Wo021 (Eichendorff); Auf dem Kirchhote, Op. 105 No. 4 (Liliencron) 

Taken from a BBC studio recital, broadcast on 16/09/60; Ernest Lush (piano).

Schubert Song Cycles: Fischer-Dieskau

Dietrich Fischer-DieskauSchubert Song Cycles: Fischer-Dieskau

HTGCD288/9 – 5060332661213

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau was the most celebrated performer of Schubert’s great song cycles throughout the second half of the 20th century. The recordings presented here were his first of each work, Die schöne Müllerin recorded in 1951, Winterreise in 1955. Fischer-Dieskau was 26 in 1951 and 30 in 1955, and so made these recordings at the same age that the composer wrote them. His approach is relatively straightforward in its sentiment, but the performances are filled with subtleties of nuance and inflection. There is a spontaneity and freshness we hear in the 1950s which is absent in his later recordings. These versions, therefore, represent the first steps in the singer’s own personal journey with the two works that would continue for another 40 years, until his final recording of Winterreise in 1990 and Die schöne Müllerin in 1991.

Performance: *****
Recording: ***
‘With the marvellous Moore at the piano, Fischer-Dieskau’s earliest recordings of Die schöne Müllerin (1951) and Winterreise (1955) remain invaluable documents of his art.’
– George Hall, BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2015

‘His [Fischer-Dieskau’s] voice was fresh and youthful… Moore’s piano-playing is pure joy.’
– Gramophone Awards Issue, September 2015

‘Fischer-Dieskau lives the part of the young miller intensely from the first note he sings to the last… He gives an impression of utter spontaneity, as if not a note had been written down, but as if everyone was being created there and then : a wonderful instance of art concealing art.’
– Gramophone

‘A very special sense of verbal values and a wide command of tone-colour.’
– Gramophone

Track Listing

SCHUBERT
DIE SCHONE MULLERIN, Op. 75 D. 795 (Recorded in 195)
WINTERREISE, Op. 89 D. 911 (Recorded in 1955)

 

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone), Gerald Moore (piano)

Great British Tenors

Great British Tenors

HTGCD286 – 5060332661176

Commercial recording arrived at the ideal time to capture a golden age of British tenor singing. A range of distinctive qualities had developed in the 19th century – firm yet elegant tone, emphasis on text and on clarity of diction – that characterised the British tenor voice. The worlds of opera, operetta, oratorio and popular song nourished the tradition and benefited from the succession of fine voices the country produced. The recordings presented here capture some of the most important voices of the early 20th century, and demonstrate the range of musical styles in which the British tenor sound could flourish.

This issue secures a unique position in today’s CD market.

‘The choice of music included is imaginative, including operatic extracts in translation and songs by Warlock, Coleridge-Taylor and Liza Lehmann. The re-mastering is convincing and the notes are good . All in all this is worth having even if you already have earlier collections of British singers of this period issued by Dutton and others. If you do not have those discs this is even more worth having as an introduction to styles of singing that regrettably now seem to be largely lost.’
– MusicWeb International
Track Listing

Maud Valerie White: To Mary Ben Davies

Purcell (ed. and arr. Duncan): The Knotting Song   John Coates

Quilter: Love’s Philosophy and O mistress mine Gerwase Elwes

Wagner:  Winter storms have waned (Sigmund’s Love Song – Die Walkure, Act IWalter Hyde

Leoncavallo:  On with the motley (I PagliacciFrank Mullings

Schubert: Who is Sylvia? Op. 106 No. 4 John McCormack

Lehar:  A heart as pure as gold (FredericaJoseph Hislop

Mendelssohn: Then shall the righteous (ElijahParry Jones

Warlock: As ever I saw Parry Jones

Liza Lehmann: Ah! Moon of my delight (In a Paradise GardenHubert Eisdell

Coleridge-Taylor:  Onaway! Awake, Beloved! (Hiawatha’s Wedding FeastTudor Davies

Wallace: Yes! Let me like a soldier fall! (Maritana, Act IIWalter Widdop

Lehar:  Patiently smiling (The Land of SmilesDerek Oldham

Vaughan Williams: The Vagabond (Songs of TravelHeddle Nash

Vaughan Williams: Song of the Road (Hugh the DroverJames Johnston

Coleridge-Taylor: Eleanore, Op. 37 No. 6 Henry Wendon

Bizet:  Flower Song (Carmen, Act IIWebster Booth

Sullivan: Take a pair of sparkling eyes (The GondoliersWebster Booth

Schubert: Im Fruhling, D. 882 and Auf der Bruck, D. 853 Peter Pears

German: The English Rose (Merrie EnglandDavid Lloyd

Massenet: As I closed my eyes (Manon, Act IIWalter Midgley

Trad: The foggy, foggy dew and The briery bush Richard Lewis

 

Total time: 78 minutes

English Song: John Shirley-Quirk

Albinoni: Complete Concertos for Solo Oboe

HTGCD283/4 – 5060332661022

As a tribute to the late John Shirley-Quirk, Heritage is proud to re-issue the recordings he made of English song for the SAGA label in the 1960s. Three LPs were originally laid down – Songs of Travel, A Recital of English Song and The Songs of John Ireland – and they appear here as a double CD. The performances are considered by many to be definitive and the present collection, re-mastered from the original tapes, appears by king permission of the SAGA Continuation Trust.

Performance: *****
Recording: ****
‘A wide ranging collection of English song that shows the mastery of the great bass-baritone, working with some of the finest accompanists of his time.’

– George Hall, BBC Music Magazine, September 2015

GRAMOPHONE EDITOR’S CHOICE, FEBRUARY 2015 – REISSUE/ARCHIVE
‘Beautifully eloquent story-telling from the fondly remembered British bass-baritone’.
‘A collection of English songs from three SAGA LPs, sensitively mastered, which show this wonderful singer on top form’.
‘Characteristically informed and affectionate notes by Tully Potter provide context and Shirley-Quirk’s immaculate diction makes texts unnecessary.’

– James Jolly, Gramophone, February 2015

‘Shirley-Quirke is sensitive, both as regards the vocalism per se, his use of voice and the responses to the words, treated intelligently.’
– John T. Hughes, International Record Review, February 2015

‘a reminder of what an asset the late baritone was to the English music scene.’
– Barry Forshaw, CD Choice, 13th December 2014

Track Listing

CD 1
 
RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS

Songs of Travel (Poems by Robert Louis Stephenson)

  1. The Vagabond     3.11
  2. Let Beauty Awake   1.40
  3. The Roadside Fire   2.25
  4. Youth and Love   3.02
  5. In Dreams   2.32
  6. The Infinite Shining Heaven 2.17
  7. Wither must I wander   4.16
  8. Bright is the Ring of Words   2.01
  9. I have trod the upward and the downward slope   1.49

 

  1. Linden Lea (Barnes)   2.52
  2. Silent Noon (Rossetti)   4.36

JOHN IRELAND

  1. Sea Fever (Masefield) 2.02

CHARLES VILLIERS STANFORD

  1. Drake’s Drum (Newbolt) 2.47
  2. The Old Superb (Newbolt)   3.25

FREDERICK KEEL

  1. Trade Winds (Masefield) 2.22

PETER WARLOCK

  1. Captain Stratton’s Fancy (Masefield) 1.39

GEORGE BUTTERWORTH

Six Songs from ‘A Shropshire Lad’ (Houseman)

  1. Loveliest of trees   2.05
  2. When I was one and twenty   1.18
  3. Look not in my eyes   1.52
  4. Think no more, lad   1.19
  5. The lads in their hundreds   1.57
  6. Is my team ploughing?   3.00

E.J. MOERAN

Three Songs from ‘Ludlow Town’ (Houseman)

  1. When smoke stood up from Ludlow   3.08
  2. Say, lad, have you things to do?     1.41
  3. Farewell to barn and stack and trees   1.58

Total time: 61.15

Tracks 1-16 – Viola Tunnerd (piano)

Tracks 17-22 – Martin Isepp (piano)
 
CD 2
 
PURCELL (Ed. Tippett and Bergmann)

  1. Man is for the woman made     1.01
  2. Music for a while   3.15
  3. ‘twas within a furlong of Edinburgh Town 1.40

PURCELL (Realisation by Benjamin Britten)

  1. Secular cantata for baritone, two violins and continuo: When night her purple veil   15.30

PELHAM HUMFREY (Ed. Tippett and Bergmann)

  1. A Hymne to God the Father     2.49

JOHN IRELAND

Five Songs to poems by Thomas Hardy

  1. Beckon to me to come     1.59
  2. In my sage moments     2.35
  3. It was what you bore with you, Woman   1.04
  4. The tragedy of that moment   1.40
  5. Dear, think not that they will forget you   1.56

Songs Sacred and Profane

  1. The Advent (Meynell)   3.13
  2. Hymn for a Child (Townsend Warner)   1.48
  3. My Fair (Meynell) 2.52
  4. The Salley Gardens (Yeats) 1.46
  5. The Soldier’s Return (Townsend Warner) 1.01
  6. The Scapegoat (Townsend Warner) 1.20
  7. Santa Chiara (Symons) 2.34
  8. The Heart’s Desire (Houseman) 1.55
  9. The merry month of May (Dekker) 1.34
  10. Spring Sorrow (Brook) 1.22
  11. The Sacred Flame (Mary Coleridge)   1.40
  12. Great Things (Hardy)   2.04
  13. Love and Friendship (Emily Bronte)   2.16
  14. Friendship in Misfortune (Anon.)   1.43
  15. I have twelve Oxen (Anon.)   1.55

Total time: 65.11

Tracks 1-5 – Martin Isepp (harpsichord and piano)

Tracks 2-5 – Ambrose Gauntlett (viola da gamba)

Track 4 – Nona Liddell and Ivor McMahon (violins)

Tracks 6 – 25 – Eric Parkin (piano)
 
ISSUED UNDER LICENCE FROM THE SAGA CONTINUATION TRUST AND CNR MUSIC B.V.

Digitally re-mastered from the original SAGA masters, using M15 Telefunken 20 bit technology.

The Voice of Isobel Baillie

The Voice of Isobel Baillie

HTGCD273 – 5060332660742

Isobel Baillie was the leading British concert soprano of the first half of the 20th century. Her style was characterised by a focussed tone, clear diction and a speech-like and natural approach to phrasing. This Heritage release showcases her artistry in repertoire with which she had a close affinity – Purcell, Arne, Bach, Handel and Haydn. Recordings date from 1941 to 1949 with a variety of orchestras, conductors and accompanists and are newly transferred.

SUNDAY TIMES 100 BEST RECORDS OF THE YEAR – Classical reissues No. 10
‘Britain’s favourite prewar soprano in choice items by Purcell, Arne, Bach, Handel and Haydn.’
– David Cairns, Sunday Times, 7th December 2014

‘This close focus on Baillie in the 1940s is a rewarding one.’
– Jonathan Woolf, Music Web International, 3rd November 2014

‘These recordings from the 1940s show why the Scottish soprano was so popular…….. Baillie’s crystal-clear voice speaks out loud and bold. When she sings ‘at the right hand of God’ or ‘Oh whistle, and I’ll come to you, my lad’, with that shining innocence of hers, you believe her. She sings Purcell with the essential firmness of line that some modern singers neglect.’
– David Cairns, The Sunday Times, 14th September 2014

‘This new compilation demonstrates perfectly that special quality of her voice: a pearly, clarion tone with a shining vibrato that did not preclude real focus … this is a precious glimpse into a vanished musical world.’
– Nicholas Kenyon, The Observer, 7th September 2014 ***

Track Listing

Purcell

  1. The Blessed Virgin’s Expostulation
    Arnold Goldsborough (organ) – Kingsway Hall, London (05/08/41)
  2. Stript of their green
    Gerald Moore (piano) – Abbey Rd. Studios, London (19/02/42)
  3. Hark! The echoing air (from The Fairy Queen)
    Halle Orchestra, Leslie Howard (conductor) – Houldsworth Hall, Manchester (04/03/42)

Arne

  1. O ravishing delight (from The Judgement of Paris)
    Gerald Moore (piano) – Abbey Rd. Studios, London (21/09/42)
  2. Where the bee sucks
    Gerald Moore (piano) – Abbey Rd. Studios, London (02/09/43)

J.S. Bach

  1. Shall Pales be the last…..Flocks in pastures (from Cantata No. 208)
    John Francis and A. Hedges (flutes), John Moore (cello), Gerald Moore (piano) – Abbey Rd. Studios, London (11/11/42)
  2. My heart ever faithful (from Cantata No. 68)
    Anthony Pini (cello), City of Birmingham Orchestra, Basil Cameron (conductor) – Civic Hall, Wolverhampton (24/06/41)

Handel

  1. O didst thou know?…..As when the dove (from Acis and Galatea)
    Liverpool Philharmonic Hall (21/03/44)
  2. Rejoice greatly (from Messiah)
    Liverpool Philharmonic Hall (21/03/44)
  3. How beautiful are the feet (from Messiah)
    Huddersfield Town Hall (26/09/46)
  4. If God be for us (from Messiah)
    Liverpool Philharmonic Hall (21/03/44)Tracks 8-11 with Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Malcolm Sargent (conductor)
  5. Let the bright Seraphim (from Samson)
    Arthur Lockwood (trumpet), Halle Orchestra, Warwick Braithwaite (conductor) – Houldsworth Hall, Manchester (18/03/43)
  6. O let eternal hours….. From Mighty Kings (from Judas Maccabaeus)
    London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Malcolm Sargent (conductor) – Kingsway Hall, London (14/02/49)

Haydn

  1. On mighty pens (from The Creation)
    Philharmonia Orchestra, George Weldon (conductor) – Kingsway Hall, London (19/06/46)

Traditional

  1. Comin’ through the rye
    Gerald Moore (piano) – Abbey Road Studios (18/06/42)
  2. O whistle an’ I’ll come to you
    Gerald Moore (piano) – Abbey Road Studios (02/04/43)

The Voice of Heddle Nash

Heddle Nash

The Voice of Heddle NashHTGCD248 – 0506033266029

Heddle Nash (1894 – 1961) was an English lyric tenor who appeared in opera and oratorio in the middle decades of the twentieth century whose quality of timbre remains unsurpassed today. This collection captures him in operatic roles for which he was most renowned and features a number of Handel oratorio roles in which he specialised. Three of Vaughan Williams’ songs are also featured.

77 minutes

Track Listing
  1. Handel arr. Somervell: Silent Worship (from Ptolemy)
    with Gerald Moore (22/11/1948)
  2. Handel: Comfort ye, comfort ye my people – Ev’ry valley shall be exalted (from The Messiah)
    with the Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra/Maurice Miles (10/08/1945)
  3. Handel: Sound an alarm (from Judas Maccabaeus)
    with the Philharmonia Orchestra/Warick Braithwaite (19/11/1946)
  4. Handel: Lo! Here my love – Love in her eyes sits playing (from Acis and Galatea)
    with the Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra/Maurice Miles (10/08/1945)
  5. Mozart: Dalla sua pace (from Don Giovanni)
    Recorded in 1929
  6. Mozart: Il mio tesoro (from Don Giovanni)
    Recorded in 1929
  7. Mozart: O loveliness beyond compare (from The Magic Flute)
    Recorded in 1927
  8. Mozart: O voice of magic melody (from The Magic Flute)
    Recorded in 1927
  9. Mozart: Un’aura amorosa (from Cosi fan tutte)
    with Glyndebourne Festival opera Company/Fritz Busch (27/6/1935)
  10. Meyerbeer: O paradise (from L’ Africana)
    Recorded in 1926
  11. Donizetti: Down her pale cheek (from L’ Elisir d’ Amore)
    Recorded in 1926
  12. Verdi: In my heart all are equally cherished (from Rigolleto)
    Recorded in 1932
  13. Verdi: Ah, cruel fate… Art thou weeping? (from Rigoletto)
    Recorded in 1928
  14. Verdi: Plume in the summer wind (from Rigoletto)
    Recorded in 1926
  15. Bizet: Serenade (from The Fair Maid of Perth)
    Recorded in 1932
  16. Bizet: In  memory I lie beneath the palms (from The Pearl Fishers)
    with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Malcolm Sargent (5/7/1944)
  17. Leoncavallo: My husband, Punchinello (Harelquin’s Serenade from I Pagliacci)
    with Joan Hammond and the Philharmonia Orchestra/Walter Susskind (14/6/1949)
  18. Vaughan Williams: The Vagabond
    with Gerald Moore (9/4/52)
  19. Vaughan Williams: Linden Lea
    with Gerald Moore (22/11/48)
  20. Vaughan Williams: Silent Noon
    with Gerald Moore (6/3/52)
British Song

British Song

British SongHTGCD240 – 5013993950950

Meriel and Peter Dickinson perform a selection of twentieth century song settings by Jonathan Harvey, Elisabeth Lutyens, Gordon Crosse, Lennox Berkeley and Peter Dickinson.

78 minutes

’consistently fine, in good sound, and the repertoire is enormously interesting’
– Nigel Simeone, International Record Review, November 2014

‘Altogether a most intriguing and imaginative group of works, and a most persuasive series of performances by the versatile Miss Dickinson.’
– BBC Radio 3 Record Review
 
‘The CD is well-packaged………. All the tracks have been engineered to give perfect reproduction………. Typically, I enjoyed this CD. I concede that the musical style of these songs is often a little removed from my usual comfort zone (Orr, Finzi, Moeran and brethren). However, British art song did not die with those above-named nor even with Benjamin Britten. The tradition lives on as is evidenced by all of the pieces on this CD.’
– John France of Music-Web International
 
‘These recordings – some of them now appearing on CD for the first time – date back to the 1970s. But it is not just out of nostalgia that they can be strongly recommended: the technical invention, expressive range and abiding appeal of the music are all considerable. Moreover, the performances consistently remind you what fine advocates for living composers the Dickinsons have been down the years.’
– Tempo, April 2013
 
‘‘This brother/sister partnership of some 30 years offers British song with many an unpredictable difference, including Peter Dickinson’s take on Lord Berners.’
– BBC Music Magazine, September 2013 4*

Track Listing

PETER DICKINSON

[1] Surrealist Landscape (Lord Berners), 1973

 

JONATHAN HARVEY

Correspondances (Baudelaire), 1975

[2] Song I: La mort

[3] Song II: Bénédiction

[4] Song III : Elévation

[5] Song IV : Chanson d’après midi

 

LENNOX BERKELEY

Chinese Songs, Opus 78, 1971

[6] People hide their love

[7] The autumn wind

[8] Dreaming of a dead lady

[9] Late spring

[10] The riverside village

 

GORDON CROSSE

The New World (Ted Hughes), 1969

[11] It is not long

[12] When the start was on her brow

[13] A star stands on her forehead

[14] I said goodbye to the earth

[15] The streets was empty

[16] Where did we go?

 

PETER DICKINSON

Extravaganzas (Gregory Corso), 1963-69

[17] The streetsinger

[18] Outside the wall

[19] Death weeps

[20] I hang old photos

[21] Four windmills

[22] O people

[23] Mrs Lombardi’s month-old so is dead

[24] Last night I drove a car

 

ELISABETH LUTYENS

Stevie Smith Songs

[25] Progression

[26] The Songster

[27] Up and down

[28] Ceux qui luttent

[29] Be off!

[30] Lady ‘Rogue’ Singleton

[31] The film star

[32] The actress

[33] The repentance of Lady T

[34] Pad, pad

 

MERIEL DICKINSON (MEZZO)

PETER DICKINSON (PIANO)

Tracks 6-24: recorded Conway Hall, London, 18 March 1974.

Tracks 1, 2-5, 25-34: recorded Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, 14 October 1978. Engineering and editing: Bob Auger. Digital remastering: Peter Newble.

 

Translation of the text of Jonathan Harvey’s Correspondances
 
I Death
 
O Death, old captain, it is time! Set sail!
This land palls on us, Death! Let us put to sea!
If sky and ocean are black as coal,
You know our hearts are full of brilliancy!
 
Pour forth your poison, our deliverance!
This fire consumes our minds, let’s bid adieu,
Plumb Hell or Heaven, what’s the difference?
Plumb the Unknown, to find out something new!

 

II Benediction
 
‘Blessed be Thou, my God, Who givest pain
As cure divine for our impurities,
And as the very essence superfine
Which makes us strong for Thy felicities!
 
I know that grief’s the one nobility
That earth and even hell will not withstand,
That if my mystic crown I justify,
All ages and all worlds I must command.
 
But the lost jewels of Palmyra old,
The unknown metals, pearls deep in the sea,
By Your hand mounted, still would not, all told,
Give this fine diadem its brilliancy.
 
For it will be made of pure light alone,
Drawn from the sacred source of every light,
And mortal eyes as radiant as noon
Are mournful mirrors of its splendour bright!’

 

III Elevation
 
Above the lake, above the vale,
The forest, cloud and precipice,
Beyond the sun, beyond the skies,
Beyond the spheres celestial.
 
My agile soul, you take your flight;
And, swimmer ravished by the sea,
Flash gaily through immensity
With marvellous, virile delight.
 
Fly far from these miasmas foul;
Go, cleanse yourself in higher air,
And drink, wine heavenly and pure,
The light unending, sidereal.
 
Beyond the griefs and endless woes
That weigh upon our cloudy years,
Happy the spirit strong that soars
To fields serene and luminous.
 
The one whose thoughts, like larks, take wing
Towards the boundless morning skies,
– Who, far below, can recognise
The speech of flowers and dumb things.

 

IV Afternoon Song
 
Although your wicked eyebrows
give you a strange look
which is not that of an angel,
oh witch with your alluring eyes,
 
I adore you, oh my frivolous
and terrible passion,
with the devotion of a priest
for his idol.
 
Perfume stalks across your flesh
as if arising from a censer;
you bewitch like the evening,
dark and warm nymph.
 
Ah! your languor surpasses
the most potent philtre,
and you know of the caress
which makes the dead live again!
 
Your hips are in love with your back
and your breasts,
and you ravish the cushions.
with your languorous poses
 
Sometimes, to appease
your mysterious rage,
you solemnly lavish bites
and kisses;
 
You tear me apart, oh my dark one,
with a mocking laugh,
and then upon my heart you lay
your eye gentle as the moon.
 
Under your satin shoes,
under your charming feet of silk,
I place my great joy,
my genius and my destiny.
 
My soul healed by you,
by you, oh light and colour!
explosion of warmth in
my black Siberia!
 
(translation: Jonathan Harvey)

schubert_mullerin150

Schubert: Die schöne Müllerin

Peter Pears and Benjamin Britten

HTGCD234 – 5013993893592

Britten and Pears were formidable in their interpretations of a variety of repertoire but their recordings of Schubert were particularly insightful. The 1960 recording of Die schöne Müllerin is captured here accompanied by three lieder which were released a year later.

73 minutes

‘Britten who is, as we know, a wonderful accompanist, excels himself in this cycle and his artistic partnership with Pears gives us a most imaginative and moving interpretation of the wonderful work.’
Gramophone
Track Listing
Schubert: Die Schone Mullerin D795
 

  1. Das Wandern
  2. Wohin?
  3. Halt!
  4. Danksagung an den Bach
  5. Am Feirerabend
  6. Der Neugierige
  7. Ungeduld
  8. MorgenruB
  9. Des Mullers Blumen
  10. Tranenregen
  11. Mein!
  12. Pause
  13. Mit dem grunen Lautenbande
  14. Der Jager
  15. Eifersucht und Stolz
  16. Die liebe Farbe
  17. Die bose Farbe
  18. Trockne Blumen
  19. Der Muller und der bach
  20. Des Baches Wiegenlied
  21.  
    3 Lieder
     

  22. An die Laute D905
  23. Die Taubenpost D957 No. 14
  24. Der Einsame D800

 
Peter Pears (tenor), Benjamin Britten (piano)
Recording first published in 1960 (tracks 1-20) and 1961 (tracks 21-23)

american_song150

American Song

Meriel and Peter Dickinson

HTGCD231 – 5013993893394

Songs by Elliott Carter, John Cage, George Gershwin, Aaron Copland and Virgil Thomson.

The Dickinsons, who flourished from the late 1960s to the early 1990s, performed works by Copland, Carter and Thomson for the composers themselves and their performances, which are captured on this disc, including the Cage cycle, were first recordings, as is Copland’s late piano piece Night Thoughts. As such, it is an important and historic release for those interested in American music.

65 minutes

‘these recordings also have authority as well as boundless expressiveness and enthusiasm. It’s a wonderful musical voyage to the New World.’
– Nigel Simeone, International Record Review, November 2014

‘Thank you so much for sending me your excellent recording. I have listened to the performances with the greatest pleasure. Your playing is absolutely top-flight, and your sister’s command of the Gershwin style, let alone all the others, is superb.’
– William Schuman
 
‘Meriel Dickinson’s mezzo is in fine fettle, and she thrillingly embraces the stylistic extremes of Copland’s ecstatic ‘Going to Heaven’ and the eccentric speech-song of Virgil Thomson’s ‘Portrait of F.B.’
– Paul Driver, Sunday Times, 2012
 
‘Elegant Elliott Carter and John Cage’
– BBC Music Magazine, September 2013

Track Listing

GEORGE GERSHWIN (1898–1937)
 

  1. ‘I got rhythm’, from Girl Crazy (1930)
  2. (arr. Peter Dickinson)
    Text: Ira Gershwin (1896–1983)

     
    E L L I O T T  C A R T E R (born 1908)
    Three Poems of Robert Frost (1943)
     

  3. ‘Dust of Snow’
  4. ‘The Rose Family’
  5. ‘The Line Gang’
  6. Premiere recording
    Texts: Robert Frost (1874–1963)

     

    AARON COPLAND (1900–1990)
     

  7. ‘In Evening Air’ (1966) [piano solo]
  8. ‘Night Thoughts (Homage to Ives)’ (1972) [piano solo]
  9. Premiere recording
     

  10. ‘Poet’s Song’ (1927)
  11. Premiere recording
    Text: E. E. cummings (1894–1962)

     

    E L L I O T T C A R T E R (born 1908)
     

  12. ‘Voyage’ (1943)
  13. Premiere recording
    Text: Hart Crane (1899–1932)

     

    VIRGIL THOMSON (1896–1989)
    Two by Marianne Moore (1963)
     

  14. ‘English Usage’
  15. ‘My Crow Pluto’
  16. Premiere recording
    Texts: Marianne Moore (1887–1972)

     

    JOHN CAGE (1912–1992)
    Five Songs for Contralto (1938) (7’52”)
     

  17. ‘Little four paws’
  18. ‘Little Christmas Tree’
  19. ‘In just’
  20. ‘Hist whist’
  21. ‘Another comes’
  22. Premiere recording
    Texts: E. E. cummings (1894–1962)

     

    VIRGIL THOMSON (1896–1989)
     

  23. ‘Portrait of F. B. (Frances Blood)’ (1929)
  24. Text: Gertrude Stein (1874–1946)

     

    GEORGE GERSHWIN (1898–1937)
     

  25. ‘A Foggy Day’, from A Damsel in Distress (1937)
  26. (arr. Peter Dickinson)
    Text: Ira Gershwin (1896–1983)
     

  27. ‘They all laughed’, from Shall we Dance (1937)
  28. (arr. Peter Dickinson)
    Text: Ira Gershwin (1896–1983)

     

    AARON COPLAND (1900–1990)
    from Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson (1950) (19’22”)
     

  29. ‘There came a wind like a bugle’
  30. ‘Why do they shut me out of Heaven?’
  31. ‘The world feels dusty’
  32. ‘Heart, we will forget him’
  33. ‘Dear March, come in!’
  34. ‘Sleep is supposed to be’
  35. ‘I felt a funeral in my brain’
  36. ‘I’ve heard an organ talk sometimes’
  37. ‘Going to Heaven!’
  38. Texts: Emily Dickinson (1830–1886)

 

Mereil Dickinson (mezzo soprano) [tracks 1–4; 7–27]

Peter Dickinson (piano)

Tracks 1–18:
Recorded 28 March 1977, All Saints’, Petersham, Surrey
Producer, sound engineer & editor: Bob Auger
Digital remastering: Peter Newble
Tracks 19–27:
Live recording, 20 April 1975, Walter Moberly Hall, Keele University, Staffs
Sound engineer: Cliff Bradbury
Not previously released
Digital remastering: Peter J. Reynolds and Peter Newble