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Track(s) taken from CDA67227


July to August 1922
author of text
Victor Neuberg's 'Lilligay, an anthology of anonymous poems

Lynne Dawson (soprano), Malcolm Martineau (piano)
Recording details: August 2000
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: May 2001
Total duration: 7 minutes 57 seconds


'A top British soprano shines in a recital that should appeal well beyond her shores. The programme is delightful, and so are the performances' (Gramophone)

'The programme is well chosen, with familiar songs alongside some that have been unjustly neglected. Dawson’s performances are wholly intelligent, nicely phrased and display deep musical understanding: her account of Howells’s King David is particularly mesmerizing. She is most fortunate to have Malcolm Martineau as her accompanist: he is one of the finest currently before the public, and they are rewarded with an excellent, beautifully balanced recording … this recital will give much pleasure' (International Record Review)

'Taken with the unusual repertory and Lynne Dawson’s unusually fine singing, this becomes an easily recommended introduction to the world of English song' (American Record Guide)

'The most delectable recital of English song … a generous sequence of brief, tuneful songs that are totally charming, from Armida's Garden by Parry to Ivor Gurney's rapt setting of John Fletcher' (The Guardian)

'A rare and rich recital … the real joy of this recital is to hear Dawson's soprano thrilling to the expressive flexibility of her own language, particularly where the glorification of the voice is fused with linguistic excitement' (The Times)

'What a treat it is to hear [Dawson] singing English so expressively … Nothing is lovelier than her haunting unaccompanied singing of Vaughan Williams' (The Sunday Times)

'The really marvellous thing about the singing is that it captures a bubbly, warm, human individuality – a kind of vocal English rose' (Manchester Evening News)
The text of The Distracted Maid is actually a paraphrase and reworking of a Cornish folksong collected by Balfour Gardiner (I love my love) and arranged by Holst as the third of his Six Choral Folksongs (1916). Warlock’s setting makes no reference to the original folk melody, but his melody nevertheless adopts a simple, modal shape which is repeated unchanged throughout the song. Johnnie wi’ the Tye, replete with Scotch snap is very much a ‘border ballad’ in style, though the chromatic divergence of the third line of the melody (‘And O as he kittl’d me’) betrays its contemporary origins, as does Warlock’s intense chromaticism. The Shoemaker, a lively scherzo, sets only three of Neuberg’s ten verses; this, so Fred Tomlinson tells us, was ‘probably out of deference to his [Warlock’s] mother, who might have been offended by the others and might have refused to advance the money for their publication’. The song has much in common with Warlock’s other lively, rustic settings, such as Away to Twiver and Roister Doister. The fourth song included here from the collection, Burd Ellen and Young Tamlane, is a lament whose harmonic vocabulary reaches an extraordinary peak of intensity at the searing mention of ‘the women’s curse’.

from notes by Jeremy Dibble © 2001

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