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Hyperion Records

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At the Piano by Robert Beyschlag (1838-1903)
Anthony Mitchell Paintings, Nottingham / Fine Art Photographic Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67374
Recording details: January 2002
Champs Hill, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: June 2003
Total duration: 2 minutes 56 seconds

'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)

Friend o' mine
First line:
When you are happy, friend o mine
composer
1913
author of text

Introduction
Fred Weatherly tells in his memoirs how he wrote the lyric of this song for Michael Maybrick, alias Stephen Adams, whose ‘The Holy City’ is included in the first of Thomas Allen’s ballad collections. Weatherly says he designed it as ‘a real heart to heart talk between us’. For once the businesslike Maybrick did not acknowledge its receipt, and when he died shortly afterwards Weatherly felt the lyric had touched his friend too deeply to even speak of it. Instead the song was set by Wilfrid Sanderson and dedicated to Maybrick. The son of a Wesleyan minister and father of an Anglican bishop, Wilfrid Ernest Sanderson was born in Ipswich of Lancastrian parents, moved to Launceston in Cornwall as an infant, was educated in London, and died in Surrey. He spent much of his career as organist, choirmaster and composer in Doncaster, producing some wonderful ballads, of which ‘Friend o’ Mine’ is one of the most stirring.

from notes by Andrew Lamb 2003

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