> The Jane Austen Collection [PS]: Classical Reviews- May2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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The Jane Austen Collection
Concert Royal.
Margarette Ashton (soprano); Peter Harrison (flute);
Rachel Gray (violoncello); John Treherne (square piano).
Recorded Westfield Farm, Sheriff Hutton, North Yorkshire. Oct 1999 and February 2000 DDD
Divine Art Ltd. 2 -4107 [47.46]


AmazonUK £8.99  AmazonUS $12.33

1. The Highland Laddie. Trad: arr Joseph Haydn (1732 - 1809) [2.58]
2. The Yellow Hair'd Laddie. Trad: arr L.A.Kozeluch (1747 - 1818) [3.11]
3. .Peaty's Mill. Arr. Stephen Paxton [1.53]
4. Extract from"Sense and Sensibility" (1811) [1.13]
5. Andantino. Ignace Joseph Pleyel (1757 - 1831) [2.45]
6. Extract from "Sense and Sensibility" (1811) [1.14]
7. The Mansion of Peace. Samuel Webbe snr. (1740 - 1816) [3.43]
8. Time hath not Thinn'd. William Jackson (1730 - 1803) [3.19]
9. William. Joseph Haydn. arr. Thomas Billington (1754 - 1832) [2.32]
10. Extract from a letter from Jane to her sister Cassandra (5th September 1796) followed by Boulangeries (anon). [1.20]
11. Cymon and Iphigenia. Thomas Augustine Arne (1710 - 1778) [9.07]
12. Extract from a letter from Jane to her sister Cassandra (27th December 1808)
followed by Air des Ballets de la Caravane. A.E.M.Grètry (1741 - 1813) [1.27]
13. The Wedding Day. James Hook ( 1746 - 1827) [4.23]
14. The Nightingale. Anonymous. [1.31]
15. Extracts from "Emma" (1816) [1.16]
16. The Shepherd's Song Joseph Haydn ( 1732 - 1809) [3.27]
17. Extract from a letter from Jane to her sister Cassandra (15th January 1796)
followed by The Irishman. Anonymous. [2.25]

Jane Austenís enthusiasm for, and knowledge of, music is well known and has formed the basis for previous anthology recordings. This one, by the York-based Concert Royal (Peter Harrison, flute; Margarette Ashton, soprano; Rachel Gray, cello; John Treherne, piano) uses period instruments and presents excerpts from Jane Austenís own collection of sheet music. This included not only British music. Although there is no Beethoven or Mozart here, Haydn certainly figures, with one of his English canzonets, another song arranged (by Thomas Billington, 1754-1832) from a piano sonata movement and one of his popular Scottish song arrangements. Pleyel and Kozeluh also put in an appearance. However Austen did own much British 18th Century music and we have some comparative rarities here. There is a movement from a Stephen Paxton Cello Sonata based on a traditional Scottish tune. We also get to hear Arneís delightful cantata, Cymon and Iphigenia, the longest work here. Samuel Webbe, senior is represented by his recitative and air, The Mansion of Peace and there are songs by James Hook, the deliciously shapely The Wedding Day and another by William Jackson of Exeter with just flute accompaniment, no piano. There are several traditional or anonymous instrumental items.

Performances are stylish and thoughtful. Miss Ashtonís remarkably clear delivery does much for her mostly little-known songs (she also reads six brief excerpts, of musical significance, from Austenís Letters and from two novels). The instrumentalists support excellently. Mr Treharne plays a Broadwood square piano, the same make as the piano purchased for Jane Fairfax in Austenís 'Emma'.

This well recorded disc sheds much light on English middle class musical taste around 1800, but at 48 minutes it is a touch short on playing time.

Philip Scowcroft.

See also review by Harry Downey

see also

MUSIC AND JANE AUSTEN by Philip Scowcroft


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