An Anthology of English Song
Henry LESLEY Annabelle Lee [3:02]
Amy WOODFORD FINDEN Kashmiri song [3:03]
W.S. GLYN WILLIAMS My little Welsh home [2:19]
Carrie JACOBS-BOND When you come to the end of a perfect day [2:41]
Roger QUILTER Now sleeps the crimson petal [2:29]
ANON Bird songs at eventide [2:54]
Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Linden Lea [2:36]
George Frederic HANDEL Silent worship [2:14]
Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Silent noon [4:29]
Henry PURCELL Music for a while [3:21]
Charles Hubert Hastings PARRY O Mistress mine [1:20]
ANON Blow the wind southerly [4:01]
Maud VALERY WHITE To Mary [3:27]
Cecil ARMSTRONG GIBBS The Cherry Tree [2:38]
Edward ELGAR Is she not passing fair [3:00]
Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS The vagabond (songs of travel) [2:58]
John IRELAND Sea fever [2:28]
Richard HAGEMAN Do not go my love [2:51]
Rebecca CLARKE Phillis on the new made hay [2:44]; The tailor and his mouse [1:51]; I know my love [2:09]; I know where I’m going [2:56]; As I was going to Ballynure [1:44]
Stuart Burrows (tenor); Valerie Masterson (soprano); Thomas Allen (baritone); Sarah Walker (mezzo); Peter Jeffes (tenor); Raimund Herincx (baritone); Patricia White (soprano); Jonathan Rees (violin)
rec. Henry Wood Hall, 11 March 1989
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An interesting disc of English song, which is, unusually enough, sorted by singer rather than programme, story-line or even composer. Works featured range from the well known, such as the much-loved Kashmiri Song by Amy Woodford Finden, through to the intriguing and unfamiliar, including Henry Lesley, Glyn Williams and Richard Hageman.
The disc commences with Stuart Burrows – his performances a little on the histrionic side, perhaps, but nevertheless sung with passion and sensitivity; My Little Welsh Home, in particular, is most movingly performed. We move on to Valerie Masterson, where Quilter’s masterpiece Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal really shows up the comparatively twee preceding When you come to the end of a perfect day.
I found Thomas Allen’s Linden Lea somehow not quite as touching as it should be, although the ensuing Silent Worship is most exquisitely sung. Sarah Walker’s rendition of Purcell’s Music for a While, meanwhile, is superb. It is not too indulgent – Walker takes it at a fairly brisk pace, yet it nonetheless does not lack for pathos; absolutely beautiful. There are also gorgeous piano textures in Blow the Wind Southerly – gossamer harp effects.
Elgar’s Is she not passing fair and Ireland’s Sea Fever are also well-sung by Peter Jeffes and Raimund Herincx respectively.
Theses singers show English Solo Song as it should be – they have complete vocal control and superb enunciation; they are sensitive to the songs’ nuances; they communicate the words, which they have clearly digested and understood; they create excellent shades of light and dark. My only criticism of this disc is of the booklet notes, which are brief and far from informative and don’t even mention the poor accompanist. The presentation is very slip-shod - appalling mistakes on the back inlay with composers’ names incorrectly spelt, for example.

Em Marshall-Luck
Theses singers show English Solo Song as it should be.