Click cover art to view larger version
Track(s) taken from CDA67374

Love's old sweet song

First line:
Once in the dear dead days beyond recall
composer
1884; sometimes known as Just a song at twilight
author of text

Sir Thomas Allen (baritone), Malcolm Martineau (piano)
Recording details: January 2002
Champs Hill, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: June 2003
Total duration: 3 minutes 47 seconds

Cover artwork: At the Piano by Robert Beyschlag (1838-1903)
Anthony Mitchell Paintings, Nottingham / Fine Art Photographic Library, London
 
1

Other recordings available for download

Alice Coote (mezzo-soprano), Graham Johnson (piano)

Reviews

'Other singers over recent decades have given the songs an airing from time to time, but Thomas Allen is the very man to do it' (Gramophone)

'With piano-playing by that most sensitive of accompanists, Malcolm Martineau, Sir Thomas Allen brings high art to these songs … with an affectionate regard to mood and feeling, and with a touching lyrical sincerity' (The Daily Telegraph)

'A fitting tribute to this repertory that one of the finest operatic voices of our day has chosen to record it' (Classic FM Magazine)

'I must confess that, what with the beauty of Thomas Allen’s voice and the lovely accompaniment of Malcolm Martineau at the piano, a tear welled in my eye more than once. Another distinguished release from Hyperion' (Liverpool Daily Post)

'Hyperion here brings us Sir Thomas Allen caressing 29 well-loved parlour songs with his warm, expressive baritone … Malcolm Martineau provides his usual sympathetic and well-etched pianistic support' (Birmingham Post)

'what quality of nostalgia, and what depth of conviction … Superb performances … Martineau’s carefully moulded accompaniments enhance a glorious enterprise' (Yorkshire Post)
One of the most popular of all Victorian ballads, this has words by Graham Clifton Bingham, whose ‘Love, could I only tell thee?’ is included in Thomas Allen’s first Hyperion volume of ballads. The son of a Bristol bookseller, Bingham wrote stories, children’s books and some 1,650 song lyrics. He claimed to have written the lyric of ‘Love’s Old Sweet Song’ at four in the morning, after which various composers vied to set it. The successful candidate was James Lynam Molloy, who graduated from the Catholic University in Dublin, studied also in London, Paris and Bonn, and was called to the English bar. A noted raconteur, he found congenial occupation in rowing and singing, as well as song composition. Published in 1884, the ballad was first sung by Antoinette Sterling, who did exceptionally well from the royalty she received for introducing it. When Arthur Sullivan was accused of using the song’s first two bars for ‘When a merry maiden marries’ in The Gondoliers, he denied it with the classic reply, “We had only eight notes between us”.

from notes by Andrew Lamb 2003

Other albums featuring this work

The Power of Love
CDA67888Composers of World War I