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Track(s) taken from CDA66878

Four Shakespeare Songs, Op 30

author of text

John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Malcolm Martineau (piano)
Recording details: February 1996
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: September 1996
Total duration: 6 minutes 17 seconds


‘An exceptionally good tenor and an equally distinguished accompanist … a fine recital, admirably recorded and presented with excellent notes’ (Gramophone)

'Musiques élégantes, interprètes distingués: John Mark Ainsley a un timbre séduisant' (Diapason, France)
It must be admitted that the ‘Four Shakespeare Songs’ of 1933 are rather routine Quilter. Who is Silvia? has charm, but little excitement, and cannot compare with Finzi’s setting. When daffodils begin to peer is a reasonably cheerful spring song, though with no suggestion of Autolycus, the ‘snapper-up of unconsidered trifles’, about it; nor does it appear that Quilter understood the implications of ‘me and my aunts, while we lie tumbling in the grass’! Sigh no more, Ladies is appropriately cheerful, though with little individual character. How should I your true love know? is a different matter, its gentle modal inflections conveying the mood of sorrow shared with an emotional depth only matched by Quilter in his earlier setting of Autumn Evening. It is worth noting, in relation to the first verse, that cockle-shells were worn by pilgrims to the shrine of St James of Compostela, and that ‘sandal shoon’ are sandals, also worn by pilgrims.

from notes by Michael Pilkington © 1996

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