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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 22 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)

In the gloaming
composer
1877
author of text

Other recordings available for download
Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor), Graham Johnson (piano)
Introduction
Behind this enduringly popular song lies another supposedly true and affecting love story. Annie Fortescue Harrison, born in Calcutta and the daughter of a Conservative MP, went on holiday to Hillsborough Castle in County Down, the seat of the Marquis of Downshire. There she fell in love with Lord Arthur Hill, younger son of the 4th Marquis. Lord Arthur’s first wife had died a year after their marriage, and supposedly differences in social class made Miss Fortescue Harrison an unacceptable replacement. For whatever reason, she quietly left Hillsborough and expressed her feelings by setting these verses to music. Lord Arthur then heard the song at a concert in London, leading to their reunion and their marriage in March 1877. The song was published that year, at first under the composer’s maiden name and then with her married name added, with a dedication to its original singer, the baritone Signor Campobello (né Campbell). Lord Arthur Hill became MP for County Down and later West Down, and was Comptroller of Queen Victoria’s household between 1885 and 1898. Though Lady Arthur Hill went on composing, she never matched the success of this early song. Her lyricist, Meta Caroline Orred, was born in Scotland, but lived most of her life in Hampshire. She published various collections of poetry in the 1870s.

from notes by Andrew Lamb 2003


Other albums featuring this work
'In praise of Woman' (CDH55159)
In praise of Woman
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55159  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  

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