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Track(s) taken from CDA67124

To the Rose, Op 19 No 3

First line:
Go happy rose, and interwove
composer
author of text
Hesperides

Stephen Varcoe (baritone), Clifford Benson (piano)
Recording details: October 1999
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: June 2000
Total duration: 2 minutes 1 seconds
 
1

Reviews

'Beautifully performed with excellent notes, this recording will convince even the sceptical of the true worth of these songs … a most sensitive performance' (Gramophone)

'Maintains in each and every bar the high standards of the previous release' (BBC Music Magazine)

'This collection, along with its predecessor has changed my life. Without any question, it contains some magnificent songs, settings that would grace any company under the sun … voice and piano are in true partnership. I can only salute with deepest admiration Stephen Varcoe's sterling baritone, so utterly sympathetic to Stanford's every note, so undemonstratively secure, so responsive to word and musical line' (International Record Review)

'Immediately appealing. Stephen Varcoe is the perfect singer for this repertoire. A treasure of a disc' (Fanfare, USA)
The third song of the Op 19 set, To the Rose, was taken from Herrick’s Hesperides (1648), a collection of secular, highly polished miniatures on the subjects of love, death and sex. The traditional seventeenth-century conceit of the rose, symbol of nubile womanhood, virginity and eroticism here also reflects the passion of the retiring lover, nervous at his own impetuosity. Almost Mendelssohnian in its delicacy, the song has an elegance tinged with coyness and reserve, an emotional tenor which allows the outburst of the third verse (‘but do not so! Lest a handsome anger fly’) to be thrown into relief.

from notes by Jeremy Dibble 2000

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