A well-chosen anthology
'A Century of English Song' -
with TREVOR HOLD
'Veira is particularly good ...'
Somm's A Century of English Song series is a well-chosen
anthology of 20th-century English art song; it highlights the best from
the repertoire but at the same time avoids works which have been widely
recorded. The present discs feature Parry, Stanford and Somervell (vol 2)
and Quilter, Gurney and Warlock (vol 3). Parry is represented by seven songs
from the twelve volumes of English Lyrics, including 'From a
city window' [listen -- volume 2 track 2, 0:48-1:51],
arguably his finest song, and the beautiful love-song, 'Goodnight'.
'Crabbed Age and Youth' is a poem that almost defies musical setting,
but Parry manages to tame its anti-lyrical mood, ending with one of the
most delicious codas he ever invented.
Both Somervell and Stanford are represented by substantial vocal works,
Stanford by An Irish Idyll (1901), which includes the popular 'The
fairy lough' and the moving antiphon, 'A broken song' [listen -- volume 2 track 28, 2:00-3:16], Somervell
by his ground-breaking songcycle, A Shropshire Lad (1904) [listen -- volume 2, track 13, 1:30-2:26]. Somervell --
a pupil of both Parry and Stanford -- is cruelly neglected today, and
this selection, which includes the subtly-constructed 'Young love lies
sleeping' and the memorable lullaby, 'Shepherd's cradle-song',
will do something to make amends.
Copyright © 4 September 2002
Trevor Hold, Peterborough, UK