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Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.
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One of the most important musical genres associated with London is the music hall song, and this needs careful handling by a classical singer. Stick your thumbs through imaginary braces and bellow ‘Let’s all go down the Strand’ and your audience will recoil in horror before you can say ‘Knocked ’em in the Old Kent Road’. But music hall was once a hugely popular part of London life, and its best songs have a comic or sentimental appeal that still entertains and convinces. Victorian Londoners were less afraid of sentiment than we are today (were they, in our modern phrase, more ‘in touch with their feminine side’?) and, keen philanthropists that they were, enjoyed wistful songs about homeless waifs and strays. One of the finest of these is Harry Dacre’s While London’s fast asleep. Let’s not forget that there are still, in the twenty-first century, pockets of the most abject poverty in London.
The greatest city of the world is London, At least, that’s what the wealthy people say. It’s very nice for some, who always get the plum; I only get what people throw away. It’s very nice for starving boys in winter: It’s very nice to camp it out at nights; A doorstep for a bed, another for your head, Because you haven’t sold your blooming lights.
While London sleeps, and all the lamps are gleaming, Millions of its people now lie sweetly dreaming. Some have no homes, and o’er their sorrows weep; Others laugh and play the game, while London’s fast asleep.
There’s lots of wealth and happiness in London; There’s lots of starving misery as well; There’s people good and true who can’t get work to do, Who’ve stolen bread and found the prison cell. There’s some of ’em can’t stand it any longer: So, when they cannot earn an honest meal, They seek the river-side and jump into the tide, Because they’re far too proud to beg or steal.
One night, when it was freezing hard and snowing, I sees a woman trudging through it all; So thin and poorly dressed, the baby at her breast Was only covered by a ragged shawl. I followed her—I felt as if I had to; When all at once she pulls the shawl aside; She screams, “My God! No, no!” and sinks into the snow— From cold and want her little one had died.