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.

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  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)


  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)


  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)

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


  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)


  1. admin

    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

  2. admin

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

  3. admin

    ‘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

  4. admin

    ‘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 ***

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