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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: 3 minutes 17 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)

Simon the Cellarer
First line:
Old Simon the cellarer keeps a rare store
composer
author of text

Introduction
John Liptrot Hatton belonged to a class of entertainers at the piano who were highly popular in Victorian Britain. Despite a rudimentary musical education, he was a prolific composer, his works embracing religious and stage music as well as songs. He toured America, as well as Britain, and was recognised as a jolly character, with a head one lady admirer likened to ‘a boiled egg with a fringe round it’. His character seems to be reflected in this 1850s song about the wine-loving Simon, which became a favourite of Victorian baritone Charles Santley, who—like Hatton himself—was from Liverpool.

from notes by Andrew Lamb 2003

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