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CD Review

Anthology of English Song 1530-1790

Lyrita 2309
  • Richard Edwards (1522-1566): When griping griefs
  • John Danyel (1565-1626):
  • Why canst thou not
  • Grief keep within
  • Anonymous
  • When Daphne From Fair Phoebus Did Fly
  • I smile to see how you devise
  • How should I your true love know (arr. Francis Cutting)
  • The Maid's twitcher
  • William Byrd (1540-1623):
  • Fair Britain isle
  • Out of the orient crystal skies
  • Richard Farrant (d. 1581): Ah, alas, you salt-sea gods
  • John Dowland (1563-1626):
  • If that a sinner's sighs
  • Come away, sweet love
  • Go nightly cares
  • Francis Pilkington (d. 1638): Now peep, bo-peep
  • Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625): Ah dear heart
  • Thomas Campion (1567-1620):
  • Fire, fire
  • Out of my soul's depths
  • John Wilson (1595-1674): In the merry month of May
  • Henry Lawes (1596-1662):
  • 'Tis but a frowne
  • Wert thou yet fairer
  • John Hilton (1599-1657): A Hymn to God the father
  • Henry Purcell (1659-1695):
  • A thousand several ways
  • O Solitude
  • In Chloris
  • This Poet Sings
  • With sick and famished eyes
  • Let the dreadful engines
  • John Eccles (1668-1735):
  • Belinda's pretty pleasing form
  • The jolly breeze
  • George Monro (d. 1731): My Goddess Celia
  • Richard Leveridge (?1670-1758): The Sailor's farewell
  • Henry Carey (?1687-1743):
  • Flocks are sporting
  • A New Year's Ode
  • Thomas Stokes: The Stocking Cantata
  • Thomas Arne (1714-1766): O Ravishing Delight
  • Thomas Chilcot (1707-1766): On a day
  • Samuel Howard (?1710-1782): Why heaves my fond bosom
  • William Boyce (1711-1779):
  • Rural Beauty
  • Rail no more ye learned asses
  • Henry Burgess (c. 1738-1765): The Rose
  • Michael Arne (1741-1786): The lass with the delicate air
  • Charles Dibdin (1745-1814): The lass that loved a sailor
  • James Hook (1746-1827): Noon
  • Stephen Storace (1762-1796): The Lullaby
Wendy Eathorne & Norma Burrowes, sopranos
Charles Brett, countertenor
Neil Jenkins & Philip Langridge, tenors
Benjamin Luxon, baritone
Robert Lloyd, bass-baritone
Anthony Rooley, lute
Colin Tilney, Nicholas Kraemer & Harold Lester, harpsichord
Catherine Mackintosh, Polly Waterfield, Ian Gammie & Trevor Jones, violins
Jane Ryan, bass viol
Adam Skeaping, viola da gamba
Medici String Quartet
Lyrita SRCD2309 2CDs 153m ADD
Find it at AmazonFind it at Amazon UKFind it at Amazon GermanyFind it at Amazon CanadaFind it at Amazon FranceFind it at Amazon JapanFind it at CD Universe

The tradition of the English song does not have the long history of either the French or German, but the last five centuries of song making have been one of the prime glories of the English repertoire. The genre has evolved through the ages, from the lute songs of the Tudor period to the 20th century composers such as Britten, Tippett, Bridge, Finzi and Quilter.

The programme contained on these two discs covers 250 years of superb song making, from the reign of Henry VIII to that of George III and among the 26 composers who make up this enthralling programme one finds such celebrities as Byrd, Dowland, Gibbons, Lawes, Purcell, Boyce, Dibdin and Eccles.

Both texts and music cover a wide range of feelings and emotions, and one is left in no doubt as to the immense contribution of these English masters to the European song tradition in general. Sponsored by the now defunct British Council way back in 1976, the recordings are highly acceptable although some minor blips in the first CD are detectable. Both performers and singers are some of the finest at the time, and the listener is regaled by some truly sumptuous renditions. This release is an invaluable addition to the ever expanding Lyrita discography of England's musical gold.

Copyright © 2009, Gerald Fenech

Trumpet