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.
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The words of the first song, A Thanksgiving (for the sights and sounds of spring) have gained in familiarity thanks to their use in Benjamin Britten's ever-popular A Ceremony of Carols. The poem, by Bassus, has a precise date: 1530. The verse for All in a garden green (a celebration of the delights of June) is by Thomas Howell, who died around 1580. A West Country man, he was educated at Oxford, then spent his life in the service of the noble Herbert family. Disappointingly, no poet can be assigned to the pithily humorous observation of womankind expressed in An Aside, which dates from the reign of Henry VIII. Then again, it is in the nature of the cowardly poet's observations that, we are told, he will not repeat them in company. Ireland's spiky accompaniment wittily suggests sharp-tongued whispering. A Report Song is a cheerful 6/8 pastoral number in praise of country pursuits from dancing to wooing, with words by Nicholas Breton (c1545-c1626), one of whose favourite themes as a poet was the poverty of those engaged in his profession … though this is not his subject here. Finally, The Sweet Season practically overdoses on the pleasures inherent in the month of May, the words being by Richard Edwardes (1523-1566).
from notes by Andrew Green © 1999
'Perhaps these discs will at last bring the best of his songs back into live recital' (BBC Music Magazine)
'Three excellent young British singers share the treasures recorded here under the sage aegis of Graham Johnson. Lisa Milne's bright, keen soprano is ...» More