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Track(s) taken from CDA67261/2

Great things

author of text

Christopher Maltman (baritone), 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 8 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)
Thomas Hardy's poetry and John Ireland's music were in many ways made for each other—most essentially in terms of the introspection and fatalism common to both, factors which also made Hardy the perfect inspiration for the composer Gerald Finzi. The surprise is that it took Ireland quite so long to set words by one of his favourite writers, whose work he must have known for many years. Amusingly though, Ireland's first Hardy setting—which in a way opened the floodgates—was'as convivial and extrovert a song as he wrote. Great Things (1925, three years before Hardy's death in his eighties) is Saturday-night-down-the-pub stuff (Ireland was a keen drinker), tipsy from the piano part in the very first bar (excuse the pun). The song extols the virtues of cider, dancing … and most of all, Love, which flies in the face of death.

from notes by Andrew Green © 1999

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