> Songs My Father Taught Me CDA67290 [PS]: Classical Reviews- May2002 MusicWeb(UK)






Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett



"SONGS MY FATHER TAUGHT ME".

E PURCELL: Passing By.
TRAD arr. P TATE
: The Lark in the Clear Air.
Arr SULLIVAN: My Dearest Heart; The Lost Chord.
SANDERSON
: until.
HAYDN
WOOD: Love’s Garden of Roses; It is Only a Tiny Garden; A Brown Bird Singing; Bird of Love Divine.
TRAD, arr QUILTER
: Drink To Me Only.
J M Capel
: Love Could I Only Tell Thee.
ALISON TRAVERS: A Mood.
A PENN: Smiling Through.
S ADAMS
: The Holy City.
JACK ROBSON
: The Cheviot Hills.
P DRESSER
: On the Banks of Wabash.
F LAMBERT
: She is Far From the Land; God’s Garden.
G
PEEL: In summer Time in Bredon.
DIX
: The Trumpeter.
NOVELLO: Till the Boys Come Home.
RAS BACH: Trees. F O’Connor. The Old House.
COATES
: Bird Songs at Eventide.
A
MURRAY: I’ll Walk Beside You.
Thomas Allen (baritone)
Malcolm Martineau (piano)
HYPERION CDA 67290 [70’35"]



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The British drawing room ballad no doubt had its shortcomings, not least sentimentality, but at its best its virtues, not least attractive and fluent melody, more than compensated. It is no surprise to me that singers continue to programme them in concert and to record them. Few, however, sing them with such affection or accomplishment as Thomas Allen. This Hyperion release, covers the period from the mid-1870s to the mid-1930s. It includes many of the best known of them with some others which may be less familiar. The interpretations are invariably intelligent and are – as we might expect from such a distinguished operatic exponent – often dramatic, though never overstated.

It is good to be reminded of Frank Lambert, whose floreat was circa 1900, while there is ample opportunity to appreciate Haydn Wood’s skill in vocal writing in these four examples (which do not include his most famous ballad Roses of Picardy, though all four are roughly contemporary). Jack Robson’s Northumbrian song is charming, too, likewise Alison Travers’ A Mood; Sanderson’s glorious Until, more usually heard for high voice, again delights. Most serious, maybe, is Graham Peel’s Housman setting, more fluid than Butterworth but equally moving.

Not all the songs are British; two (Trees and Banks of the Wabash) are American, three if we count Smilin’Through, whose composer was born in London, but emigrated to the States. Two songs are "traditional" but Tate and Quilter, both notable contributors to the British light music repertory, arrange them characterfully.

Malcolm Martineau is the excellent accompanist; recording and presentation are first rate (the booklet prints all the words and supplies much fascinating information. I had forgotten that Love Could I Only Tell Thee was inserted into The Geisha. I did not realise that Stephen Adams (Michael Maybrick) was involved with the famous Victorian poisoning case. Strongly recommended.
Philip Scowcroft

Footnote

received February 2008

Mr John Mathews of Newport, Isle of Wight informs me that Stephen Adams was not James Maybrick (1838-1889), several times Mayor of Ryde and suspect in the "Jack the Ripper" murders. He was instead Michael Maybrick (officially 1844, but now probably 1841-1913), the younger brother, a totally respectable and honourable man, who was Mayor of Ryde in his retirement.

Len Mullenger

 

 


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