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Track(s) taken from CDA67725

Three Songs for Jennie

First line:
But leave it now, leave it; as you left
2004; commissioned by Bromsgrove Concerts in honour of retiring chairman Jennie McGregor-Smith; first performed by James Gilchrist and Alison Nicholls on 11 March 2005 at Spadesbourne Hall, Bromsgrove

James Gilchrist (tenor), Alison Nicholls (harp)
Recording details: November 2007
St Martin's Church, East Woodhay, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Produced by Philip Hobbs
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: August 2008
Total duration: 1 minutes 18 seconds

Cover artwork: Windy Day near Blainville by Rosemary Hunt (1937-2003)
Reproduced by kind permission of Richard Townley

Howard Skempton’s Three Songs for Jennie were commissioned by Bromsgrove Concerts in honour of their retiring Chairwoman, Jennie McGregor-Smith. The first performance was given by James Gilchrist and Alison Nicholls on 11 March 2005 at the Spadesbourne Hall, Bromsgrove.

Howard Skempton has written: ‘The three songs are settings of poems by Geoffrey Hill, Molly Holden and A E Housman. The aim is always clarity and directness and, even where the music is suitably chromatic (The Triumph of Love), the harp-writing avoids pedal changes. The Syllables of Summer Birds by Molly Holden (1927–1981), whose life was coloured and cut short by multiple sclerosis, is poignantly lyrical, while the Housman is arguably an all-too-familiar lyric, but still refreshing in this new context.’

from notes by Alison Nicholls © 2008

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