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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67457
Recording details: May 2003
Savage Club, 1 Whitehall Place, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Simon Weir
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: March 2004
Total duration: 5 minutes 31 seconds

'Bott can transform herself from robust campanologist in Walton's Rhyme to high camp in Kit and the Widow's irresistible Wimbledon Idyll; from folk singer for Ewan MacColl's Sweet Thames to waif-like Victorian music-hall songstress in While London's fast asleep … the gently circumspect soft-focus of this recital will doubtless be, for many listeners, all part of that illusory charm of London Town' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Listen to what Bott and Norris make of the Gershwin standard A Foggy Day and you'll believe that the age of miracles hasn't passed!' (International Record Review)

'Best of all is the Joyce Grenfell number, Joyful Noise, putting her own delicious slant on a number one would have thought no one but Joyce Grenfell could bring off' (The Guardian)

'Catherine Bott, dextrous in Baroque and earlier repertory, weilds a light, winning touch as she ranges with pianist Davis Owen Norris through British music-hall songs, Gershwin, Joyce Grenfell ditties and recent Jonathan Dove' (The Times)

'Sumptuous performances all.' (The Sunday Times)

'Catherine Bott, totally unexpected in lighter twentieth century repertoire, divulges new facets of her talents … Noel Coward's London Pride closes the album on a subdued but heroic note, leaving us in admiration of singer and pianist in one of this year's most enjoyable discs to have come my way' (Fanfare, USA)

'Catherine Bott's versatile, light soprano is wonderfully entertaining in this wide-ranging London related album' (The Evening Standard)

'I cannot recommend this disc highly enough. It positively radiates intelligence and wit in performances of consummate musicianship. A truly delightful gallimaufry!' (MusicWeb International)

London Pride
composer
author of text

Introduction
This song sums up how we Londoners feel about our city, Noel Coward’s London Pride. Coward himself wrote better than anyone about how it came into being:

London Pride was written in the spring of 1941. I was standing on the platform of a London railway station on the morning after a bad blitz. Most of the glass in the station roof had been blown out and there was dust in the air and the smell of burning. I watched Londoners scurrying about in the thin spring sunshine—they all seemed to me to be gay and determined and wholly admirable and for a moment or two I was overwhelmed by a wave of sentimental pride. The song started in my head then and there and was finished in a couple of days. The tune is based on the traditional lavender-seller’s song ‘Won’t you buy my sweet blooming lavender’. I am proud of the words of this song. They express what I felt at the time and what I still feel, i.e. London Pride.

from notes by Catherine Bott 2004

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