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Known the world over as one of the finest dramatic stage presences before the opera public today, Sir Thomas Allen is also a communicative recitalist, gifted with an open humour and devotion to song that quickly enraptures his audience. These qualities were celebrated last year with pianist Malcolm Martineau in the first volume of 'Songs my father taught me' (CDA67290) and which by popular demand—a true encore!—are shared again in this touching second collection. Here once more is a recital of familiar and nostalgic repertoire steeped in history from firesides of generation after generation, of families gathered round the old piano or latterly the phonograph, dwelling on sentiments of love and regret, wishfulness and celebration, absence and expectancy, that know no age. This disc, graced by a mellow and honeyed voice, captures a gentle age gone by when such heartfelt depictions brought both consolation and joy.