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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67227
Recording details: August 2000
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: May 2001
Total duration: 1 minutes 52 seconds

'A top British soprano shines in a recital that should appeal well beyond her shores. The programme is delightful, and so are the performances' (Gramophone)

'The programme is well chosen, with familiar songs alongside some that have been unjustly neglected. Dawson’s performances are wholly intelligent, nicely phrased and display deep musical understanding: her account of Howells’s King David is particularly mesmerizing. She is most fortunate to have Malcolm Martineau as her accompanist: he is one of the finest currently before the public, and they are rewarded with an excellent, beautifully balanced recording … this recital will give much pleasure' (International Record Review)

'Taken with the unusual repertory and Lynne Dawson’s unusually fine singing, this becomes an easily recommended introduction to the world of English song' (American Record Guide)

'The most delectable recital of English song … a generous sequence of brief, tuneful songs that are totally charming, from Armida's Garden by Parry to Ivor Gurney's rapt setting of John Fletcher' (The Guardian)

'A rare and rich recital … the real joy of this recital is to hear Dawson's soprano thrilling to the expressive flexibility of her own language, particularly where the glorification of the voice is fused with linguistic excitement' (The Times)

'What a treat it is to hear [Dawson] singing English so expressively … Nothing is lovelier than her haunting unaccompanied singing of Vaughan Williams' (The Sunday Times)

'The really marvellous thing about the singing is that it captures a bubbly, warm, human individuality – a kind of vocal English rose' (Manchester Evening News)

The lark in the clear air
First line:
Dear thoughts are in my mind, and my soul soars enchanted
composer
Old Irish air
arranger
author of text

Introduction
Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst were pupils of Stanford at the RCM during that fertile period of the mid-1890s which included John Ireland, Fritz Hart, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and William Hurlstone. Both composers were undoubtedly influenced by the plethora of folksong publications that had appeared during the nineteenth century. Enthusiasm for the ethnic repertoire had gathered pace with the serial publication of Thomas Moore’s Irish melodies between 1808 and 1834 and the huge popularity of The lark in the clear air to words by Sir Samuel Ferguson; and there were numerous later editions of folk-songs, not least Stanford’s trend-setting Songs of Old Ireland of 1882. But most significant for the young impressionable Vaughan Williams was the volume English County Songs (1893) jointly edited by Lucy Broadwood and J A Fuller Maitland, the founding of the Folk Song Society in 1898, and the work of Cecil Sharp who had become England’s most assiduous folksong collector.

from notes by Jeremy Dibble 2001

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