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Track(s) taken from CDA67261/2

Earth's call 'A sylvan rhapsody'

author of text

Lisa Milne (soprano), 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: 5 minutes 11 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)
Earth's Call (subtitled 'A Sylvan Rhapsody') from 1918 takes us back to the world of the Songs of a Wayfarer, with its ecstatic evocation of the 'innocent' discovery of nature by two travellers—sky, birds, trees, ploughed land … with a culminating impassioned invitation: ' … press your heart against the ground / Let us both listen till we understand / Each through the other every natural sound'. For my money this is one of the finest of all Ireland songs, the atmosphere, especially at the start, bringing to mind some fresh-painted Impressionist picture of a breezy, airy, light-drenched country scene. Anyone with scruples about musical imitations of cuckoos may, on this occasion, be missing the point. Ditto anyone in doubt as to whether passion or ecstasy lurked within the breast of Ireland, the well-groomed bachelor. And what interest, challenge and sheer enjoyment there is for the pianist! The poem is from Harold Monro's volume Strange Meetings. Monro was born in Belgium in 1879 but came to England at the age of seven.

He was renowned as the founder of The Poetry Bookshop which from 1913 highlighted the work of contemporary poets through publications and the staging of public readings. Monro's own work was championed by T S Eliot.

from notes by Andrew Green © 1999

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