Mary Bevan


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Sir Arthur Sullivan: Songs

Sir Arthur Sullivan: Songs

Sullivan, A:

Sigh no more, ladies

Orpheus with his Lute

O mistress mine

The Willow Song


Love laid his sleepless head

Nel ciel seren

Where the bee sucks

I wish to tune my quivering lyre

Sweet day

Arabian Love Song

Birds in the Night

A life that lives for you

Once again

Golden Days


None but I can say

O Israel

St Agnes' Eve

Edward Gray

What does little birdie say?

O swallow, swallow

Tears, idle tears

The Window; or, the Songs of the Wrens

Bid me at least goodbye

E tu nol sai

Ich mochte hinaus es jauchzen

Lied, mit thränen halbgeschrieben

Oh! Ma charmante

I would I were a King

Sad Memories


Mary Morison

Old Love Letters

County Guy


Songs grouped in the following categories:

Shakespearean settings

Famous poets

Songs to words by Lionel Lewin

The beginning


The ‘Liederkreis’ of Sullivan and Tennyson

Songs from the stage

Songs in foreign tongues


Mary Bevan (soprano), Ben Johnson (tenor), Ashley Riches (bass-baritone) & David Owen Norris (piano)

This exceptional recording gathers the finest young vocal talents in a unique programme of songs by Sullivan, many of them very rarely recorded.

Currently widely acclaimed for key operatic title roles in the UK and abroad, the ‘deeply touching, outstanding’ (The Guardian) soprano Mary Bevan, the ‘elegant yet intense, impeccable’ (The Guardian) tenor Ben Johnson, and the ‘increasingly impressive’ (The Financial Times) bass-baritone Ashley Riches – who here appears on Chandos for the first time – span fifty years of Arthur Sullivan’s large non-operatic vocal output. They are accompanied by the UK pianist David Owen Norris, who regularly appears in highly praised concerto performances at the BBC Proms.

This album continues to celebrate the Shakespeare anniversary but also presents a wide variety of poets, drawing on texts from a vast range of sources, through the voices of today’s greatest rising stars.

“Although Sullivan always stands with one foot in the Victorian parlour, his songs have more to offer than the casual listener might expect. Mary Bevan and Ben Johnson are the appealing soprano and tenor, Ashley Riches the outstanding bass-baritone. David Owen Norris accompanies with affection.” Financial Times, 7th April 2017 ****

“Mary Bevan is in glorious voice throughout. 'Orpheus with his Lute' is particularly exquisite, and her sense of line and floated high pianissimos are ravishing in 'O Israel'.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2017

“the powerful Tennyson cycle The Window, George Herbert’s Sweet Day and many others – thanks to Norris’s inspired direction — make you realise what a fine, underrated songwriter Sullivan was.” Sunday Times, 12th March 2017

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Vaughan Williams: Purer Than Pearl

Vaughan Williams: Purer Than Pearl

Songs and Duets for voices, piano and violin

Vaughan Williams:

Summum Bonum

Crossing the Bar


Spinning Song

Lollipop's Song

Rumpelstiltskin's Song

Linden Lea

The Last Invocation

The Love-Song of the Birds

How cold the wind doth blow

Dirge for Fidele

It was a Lover and his Lass

Searching for Lambs

The Lawyer

The Poisoned Kiss: eight songs

William Vann (piano), Thomas Gould (violin), Mary Bevan (soprano), Jennifer Johnston (mezzo), Nicky Spence (tenor), Johnny Herford (baritone)

Songs and Duets by Ralph Vaughan Williams accompanied by piano and/or violin. Including Eight Songs from The Poisoned Kiss, newly arranged for this recording by Adrian Williams. There are many early songs, including six world première recordings.

“From an early age, Vaughan Williams’s “Englishness” brought forth near-masterpieces. Summum Bonum is his earliest extant song; as sung by Spence, with excellent diction, it foretells greatness...Hidden gems all.” Sunday Times, 16th October 2016

“Vocal and instrumental contributions alike leave nothing to be desired – and a special word of praise for William Vann’s deft pianism…exemplary production values bolster the appeal of [this Albion release] which can be cordially recommended to all RVW acolytes” Gramophone Magazine, November 2016

“Mary Bevan, Nicky Spence and pianist William Vann plead the cause for [Eight Songs from The Poisoned Kiss] very persuasively…performances and recordings are high quality” BBC Music Magazine, January 2017 ****

“A lovely disc that no lover of Vaughan Williams’ music should miss.” MusicWeb International, 9th February 2017

Albion Records - ALBCD029



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Handel in Italy, Volume 2

Handel in Italy, Volume 2


Agrippina: Overture

Nisi Dominus, HMV 238: Sicut sagittae

Benjamin Bevan (baritone)

Pure del cielo intelligenze eterne (from Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno)

Sophie Bevan (soprano)

Tu del ciel ministro eletto (Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno)

Sophie Bevan (soprano)

Poichè giuraro amore, HWV148

Mary Bevan (soprano)

Harpsichord Concerto in G major, HWV 487

Bridget Cunningham (harpsichord)

Sonata in G minor HV 580: Larghetto

Bridget Cunningham (harpsichord)

Dalla guerra amorosa, HWV 102

Benjamin Bevan (baritone)

Precipitoso nel mar che freme (from Aci, Galatea e Polifemo)

Benjamin Bevan (baritone)

Quel fior ch'all'alba ride, HWV192

Mary Bevan (soprano), Sophie Bevan (soprano) & Benjamin Bevan (baritone)

Se tu non lasci amore, HWV201

Mary Bevan (soprano), Sophie Bevan (soprano) & Benjamin Bevan (baritone)

London Early Opera continue their new series of Handel’s works with the second volume of pieces composed in Italy.

Both volumes of Handel in Italy explore the young composer’s Italian years through his cantatas, sacred pieces, operatic works and instrumental compositions. Handel wrote prolifically during his stay in Italy, his output includes oratorios, operas, sonatas, instrumental works and sacred vocal masterpieces including over 100 cantatas. Featuring performances from internationally acclaimed soloists, the sopranos Sophie Bevan and Mary Bevan with their uncle, baritone Benjamin Bevan, conducted and conceived by Bridget Cunningham.

“London Early Opera plays with lemon-fresh strings and lean phrasing...Cunningham's own playing is delicate...There is far more bouyancy and colour in the vocal items...All three [Bevans] sing together in the delicious Quel fior che all'alba ride and Se tu non lasci amore, making a persuasive argument for a complete survey of the chamber cantatas.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2017 ***

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Arthur Sullivan: Macbeth, The Tempest & Marmion Overture

Arthur Sullivan: Macbeth, The Tempest & Marmion Overture

Sullivan, A:


The Tempest - incidental music (excerpts)


Mary Bevan (soprano), Fflur Wyn (soprano), Simon Callow (speaker)

BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC Singers, John Andrews

This 2-CD set brings together for the first time Arthur Sullivan’s complete incidental music to Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest with his concert overture, Marmion. The Tempest was Sullivan’s graduation work from the Leipzig Conservatoire, and its rapturous reception in London in 1862 launched his career. The Macbeth music comes from the other end of Sullivan’s creative life. Commissioned by Henry Irving for his famous production at the Lyceum Theatre, it includes sublime melodic writing, ravishing orchestration (including the atmospheric use of two harps) and a dark dramatic energy. For both plays, Sullivan interwove music and text seamlessly – most impressively in the scenes between Macbeth and the Witches. Simon Callow’s wonderful performance of Shakespeare’s text makes it possible to appreciate how truly theatrical this music is. Marmion was composed after the epic poem by Walter Scott, which culminates in the Battle of Flodden Field. Until now, it has been heard only in a heavily abbreviated version. This recording restores the composer’s original narrative structure, with sparkling playing from the BBC Concert Orchestra.

This SACD is compatible with all CD players


“The BBC Concert Orchestra play with warmth and style, the BBC Singers go at it with spirit and Mary Bevan makes an enchanting Ariel. John Andrews does an excellent job of integrating the orchestra with Simon Callow’s spoken chunks of Shakespeare” Gramophone Magazine, October 2016

“the music is pure delight. Mary Bevan’s Ariel beguiles the ear.” Sunday Times, 24th July 2016

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Dutton Epoch - 2CDLX7331

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'Where'er You Walk'

'Where'er You Walk'

Arias For Handel's Favourite Tenor


Hark how the hounds and horn (from The Fairies)

Thou like the glorious sun (from Artaxerxes)


Esther: Tune your harps to cheerful strains

Sol nel mezzo risona del core (from Il pastor fido)

Ariodante: Sinfonia to Act 2

Tu vivi (from Ariodante)

M'inganna, me n'avveggo (from Alcina)

Un momento di contento (from Alcina)

Alexander's Feast: Happy Pair

Vedi l'ape che ingegnosa (from Berenice)

As steals the morn (from L'Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato)

Mary Bevan (soprano)

Arrival of the Queen of Sheba (from Solomon)

Solomon: My fair's a garden of delight

Solomon: Softly rise, o southern breeze!

Solomon: Ye southern breezes gently blow

Samson: Let but that spirit

Thus when the sun from’s watry bed (Samson)

Judas Maccabaeus: 'Tis well, my friends...Call forth thy pow'rs

Jephtha: Hide thou thy hated beams

Jephtha: Waft her, angels, through the skies

Semele: Where'er you walk

Allan Clayton (tenor)

Classical Opera, The Choir of Classical Opera, Ian Page

Classical Opera explore a wealth of arias by Handel and his contemporaries William Boyce, John Christopher Smith and Thomas Arne, all of which were composed for the celebrated 18th-century tenor John Beard (1716-1791). For this recording Allan Clayton steps ably into this role, performing alongside the Orchestra of Classical Opera under Ian Page. The disc also features a duet with Mary Bevan, from Handel’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato.

“The outstanding young tenor fulfils his early promise...he phrases with immaculate taste and style.” Sunday Times, 15th May 2016

“there’s a guileless beauty of tone in Clayton’s Handel … he is a stylish but not slavish Handelian … led by Matthew Truscott, the string playing is reliably silky, well articulated and quick-witted, with musky obbligato solos from bassoonist Philip Turbett and oboist James Eastway.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2016

“Clayton’s tenor has been getting steadily stronger and more muscular over the past few years, and there’s more evidence of that here...with the added bonus of a cameo from soprano Mary Bevan (‘As steals the morn’) and the skilled support of Ian Page and The Orchestra of Classical Opera it’s a very attractive package.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2016

GGramophone Awards 2017

Shortlisted - Recital

Signum - SIGCD457



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Mendelssohn in Birmingham, Vol. 3

Mendelssohn in Birmingham, Vol. 3


Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, Op. 27

Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 52 'Lobgesang'

sung in English; Mary Bevan (soprano I), Sophie Bevan (soprano II) & Benjamin Hulett (tenor)

CBSO Chorus

This is the third recording in our Mendelssohn in Birmingham series, with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and its Principal Guest Conductor, Edward Gardner. The album features Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage (Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt) and Symphony No. 2, completing our survey of Mendelssohn’s mature symphonies.

Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage is the second in a trilogy of concert overtures by Mendelssohn, the two others being A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Hebrides, the latter recorded on Vol. 1 in this Chandos series. Based on two poems by Goethe these sonorous images describe a ship helplessly becalmed in the open sea, then carried by rising winds towards land. The densely textured, immensely slow opening evocation of oceanic calm and the following quickening full orchestral crescendo strikingly depict Goethe’s verses. Symphony No. 2 was valued as one of Mendelssohn’s greatest and most influential achievement for much of the nineteenth century – not least in Britain – but it has since come to be viewed equivocally. A fusion of neo-baroque procedures with romantic sentiment provides the backdrop of this hybrid Symphony-Cantata, made up of three orchestral movements and a choral finale, in which smooth contrapuntal arias contrast with exuberant, dramatic choral sections. The soloists are all emerging young artists in Britain, the wonderfully talented soprano sisters Mary and Sophie Bevan and the tenor Benjamin Hulett.

“The playing of the CBSO is of the highest quality, and the perfectly balanced and blended sound of the wind sections is something very special...Edward Gardner is an ideal interpreter of this music, and one can sense how much he and his musicians love it...the whole disc is a rare pleasure.” MusicWeb International, February 2015

“Calm Sea is one of Mendelssohn's most evocative pieces...and Edward Gardner conducts a most sensitive performance...[in the Symphony] Gardner stresses what over the years we have come to consider the more purely Mendelssohnian attributes, Apollonian qualities such as lightness, line and overall beauty of form.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2015

“Gardner favours bright, transparent, woodwind-highlight textures in these amiable accounts, with exquisite solo singing from the sopranos Sophie and Mary Bevan and the tenor Benjamin Hulett in the finale to Mendelssohn’s homage to Beethoven’s Choral Symphony.” Sunday Times, 5th April 2015

“This is in every sense an absorbing account [of Calm Sea], exceptionally well played and directed with admirable facility and understanding by Gardner…[the reading of the Second Symphony] is a thoroughly committed and scholarly one, and Gardner manages to invest several of the big choruses with near theatrical conviction…this fine account should certainly impress.” International Record Review, March 2015

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Chandos Mendelssohn in Birmingham - CHSA5151


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Handel: The Triumph of Time and Truth

Handel: The Triumph of Time and Truth

Sophie Bevan, Mary Bevan (sopranos), Tim Mead (countertenor), Ed Lyon (tenor), William Berger (bass)

Ludus Baroque, Richard Neville-Towle

In their third disc for Delphian, Ludus Baroque and five stellar soloists bring to life Handel’s rarely heard final oratorio, a remarkable Protestant re-casting of a work written 50 years earlier to a text by the young composer’s Roman patron Cardinal Pamphili. Compelled by Time and Truth to accept the divine order of change and decay, Beauty ultimately gives way – as with the aging composer himself – to an assertion of redemption by good works, reflected in the incorporation of choruses Handel had written for the Foundling Hospital.

The resulting work, neglected by centuries of scholarship on account of its hybrid origins, here proves an extraordinary feast of riches, and the ideal vehicle for Richard Neville-Towle’s carefully assembled cast of exceptional soloists, vigorous, intelligent chorus and an orchestra made up from some of the UK’s leading period instrumentalists. Formed in 1998 under the direction of Richard Neville-Towle, this ‘crack group of British early musickers’ (The New York Times) prides itself on the exuberance and energy of its performances, specialising in great works of the early music repertoire. With sisters Mary and Sophie Bevan (the latter having just been shortlisted for an RPS award) jousting with one another in the roles of Deceit and Beauty, these discs make for revelatory listening.

“finely shaped, unflamboyant conducting from Neville-Towle, gracious playing and some very fine singing. Sophie Bevan plays Beauty in what is arguably her finest recording to date. Her sister Mary as Deceit sounds at once seductive and cunning, while Ed Lyon is all elegant bravado and swagger as Pleasure.” The Guardian, 26th June 2014

“the music of The Triumph of Time and Truth, Handel’s last oratorio before he died in 1759, is of such strength, freshness and radiance – notably so in this buoyant, scrupulously characterised performance by the early-music group Ludus Baroque and a glorious line-up of soloists.” The Telegraph, 17th June 2014 ****

“The small orchestra playing is stylish and characterful...Excellent, spirited singing from both choir and soloists throughout – Ludus Baroque's most valuable Handel recording so far confirms that this unclassifiable, peculiar work is well worth revisiting.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2014

“Both Bevans sing with lustrous tone, natural agility and exquisite decorations, Lyon and William Berger (Time) with taut elegance and Tim Mead (Counsel) with immaculate poise. Though Neville-Towle's tempos sometimes waver, this is a performance of great warmth.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2014 ****

“Graceful singing from a fine British cast — Sophie Bevan outstanding...— reveal a work of profound beauty.” The Times, 16th August 2014 ****

“Keep an eye on this Ludus/Delphian partnership.” International Record Review, September 2014

“Ludus Baroque under Richard Neville-Towle gives a fine account of the Overture … The singers taking the solo parts are excellent and the balance superb...There is so much first class music to be heard in this rarely-performed oratorio.” MusicWeb International, 13th October 2014

“A delight from start to finish. Instrumental contributions are crisp and stylish, the young cast are excellent (especially scene-stealers Mary and Sophie Bevan), and the production comes across with energy and panache.” Classical Music *****

Presto Discs of 2014


GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - August 2014

Delphian - DCD34135

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Harmonie du soir


L'Invitation au voyage


Cinq poèmes de Baudelaire


L'Invitation au voyage

Romance de Mignon

La Vie antérieure


Chant d'automne Op. 5 No. 1

Hymne Op. 7 No. 2


Le balcon

Harmonie du soir


Der Strom, D565 (poet unknown)

Mignon I (Heiß mich nicht reden) D726

Mignon II (So laßt mich scheinen) D727

Kennst du das Land (Mignons Gesang), D321


Les Hiboux

Mary Bevan (soprano), Joseph Middleton (piano)

Soprano Mary Bevan and pianist Jopseph Middleton perform a programme exploring the genius of Baudelaire and Goethe, and how texts by them unlocked very specific musical landscapes in settings by Debussy, Duparc, Chausson, de Bréville, Séverac, Fauré and Schubert.Praised by Opera for her “dramatic wit and vocal control” in stand out performances on opera and concert platforms, Mary Bevan is a winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist award and UK Critics’ Circle Award for Exceptional Young Talent in music. Pianist Joseph Middleton specialises in the art of song accompaniment and chamber music and has been highly acclaimed within this field. Described in the BBC Music Magazine as “one of the brightest stars in the world of song and Lieder”, he has also been labeled “the cream of the new generation” by The Times and “a perfect accompanist” by Opera Now

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Signum - SIGCD509


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Vaughan Williams: A London Symphony

Vaughan Williams: A London Symphony

& other works

Vaughan Williams:

Symphony No. 2 'A London Symphony'

1920 version

BBC Symphony Orchestra

Sound sleep

Elizabeth Watts (soprano), Mary Bevan (soprano), Kitty Whately (mezzo-soprano)

BBC Symphony Orchestra

Orpheus With His Lute

Elizabeth Watts (soprano)

BBC Symphony Orchestra

Variations for Brass Band

Royal College of Music Brass Band

Vaughan Williams’s London Symphony (the composer’s favourite of the nine) makes a rare appearance in its 1920 first publication. Three lesser-known works complete a highly desirable programme, while Martyn Brabbins and the BBC Symphony Orchestra understand how this music should be played like few others. This is mandatory listening.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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Hyperion - CDA68190


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Handel at Vauxhall Vol. 2

Handel at Vauxhall Vol. 2


A Loyal Song for two Voices ‘God save great George Ye king'

Charles MacDougall (tenor), Benjamin Bevan (baritone)


Spring Gardens

Greg Tassell (tenor)


The Ladies in Vauxhall Gardens, to the British Officers at Dettingen

Eleanor Dennis (soprano)


Concerto grosso, Op. 6 No. 4 in A minor, HWV322

Hornpipe in D, HWV 356


Eleanor Dennis (soprano), Claire Bessent (soprano), Benjamin Bevan (baritone)

A Song on the Victory over the Rebels, by his Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland, HWV 228/9

Mary Bevan (soprano)

Hasse, J A:

Roger and Sue a Ballad to a Favourite Air by Sig.r Hasse

Nicky Spence (tenor)

Lampe, J B:

The Farewel to Vaux Hall

Greg Tassell (tenor)

Stanley, J:

The Power of Music and Beauty

Mary Bevan (soprano)

London Early Opera continue their programme themed around a typical evening’s entertainment at the 17th & 18th century Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, with a second collection of works by George Frideric Handel and contemporary composers of the day (John Stanley, Thomas Gladwin, John Lampe and Johann Adolph Hasse). Featuring performances by soloists Claire Bessant, Mary Bevan, Benjamin Bevan, Eleanor Dennis, Charles MacDougale, Nicky Spence and Greg Tassell, the programme evokes the carnival of music and entertainments that amused visitors in these London gardens for nearly 200 years. The booklet notes feature images and expert commentaries on the Vauxhall Gardens by author David E. Coke and as well as conductor and musicologist Bridget Cunningham.

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Signum - SIGCD479


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