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Track(s) taken from CDA67261/2

Two Songs 1920


John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Graham Johnson (piano)
Recording details: September 1998
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Arthur Johnson
Engineered by Mike Clements & Mike Hatch
Release date: June 1999
Total duration: 2 minutes 52 seconds


'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 lovely, John Mark Ainsley is a model of style and verbal clarity and young Christopher Maltman continues to show the promise that won him the Cardiff Lieder Prize in 1997' (The Sunday Times)

'A welcome, long overdue event. Excellent introduction to unduly neglected repertoire' (Classic CD)

'Ireland was a songsmith to rival the finest this country has produced, and Hyperion's generous anthology will hopefully encourage others to explore this rewarding and rapt repertoire' (Hi-Fi News)
The set of Two Songs from 1920 features poems by Aldous Huxley (The Trellis) and the Elizabethan courtier and scholar Sir Philip Sidney (the ever-admired sonnet My true love hath my heart, and I have his). In the 1920s Huxley was on the threshold of the kind of fame as a novelist which would eclipse his extended early efforts as a poet. The Trellis, which dates from 1918, describes the silent kisses and white caresses enjoyed behind the thick flower'd trellis protecting the lovers from 'prying eyes of malice'. Another intriguing choice of subject-matter by Ireland, who weaves round the words hypnotic, hazy, sensuous lines. Ecstatic moments for the lovers, but what secret inner world of Ireland's desire/frustration is reflected here? In Ireland's full-hearted setting of lines selected from My true love hath my heart, the melody is reminiscent of, say, Roger Quilter, above a passionately chromatic accompaniment.

from notes by Andrew Green © 1999

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