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Track(s) taken from CDA67261/2

The heart's desire

First line:
The boys are up the woods with day
author of text
final three stanzas of 'March' from 'A Shropshire Lad'

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 33 seconds

Other recordings available for download

Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor), Graham Johnson (piano)


'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 Heart's Desire is Ireland's 1917 setting of the final three of the five stanzas of A E Housman's poem 'March' from A Shropshire Lad. Housman never liked composers 'tampering' with his verse, so what he made of this blatant truncation is anyone's guess. The rolling, richtoned melody marks this off as one of the most overtly passionate of Ireland's songs. As boys and girls go to the fields in search of daffodils and palms, so should lovers be able to fulfil their hearts' desires … 'lovers should be loved again'—full of meaning for Housman—in his case as a repressed homosexual—and apparently also for Ireland, who repeats the final two lines with great force.

from notes by Andrew Green © 1999

Other albums featuring this work

Housman: A Shropshire Lad
CDD220442CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
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