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John Mark Ainsley

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Donald Swann: Songs

Donald Swann: Songs


Swann, D:

A collection of songs

Roderick Williams (baritone)

Five colourisations of Emily Dickinson

Dame Felicity Lott (soprano)

Two sonnets by Edna St Vincent Millay

Roderick Williams (baritone)

Stopping by woods

Kathryn Rudge (mezzo)

Two poems by Thomas Hardy

John Mark Ainsley (tenor)

Four lyrics from In memoriam

John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Roderick Williams (baritone)

Two poems by Christina Rossetti

Dame Felicity Lott (soprano)

Dark rose of my heart

John Mark Ainsley (tenor)

An invite to eternity

Roderick Williams (baritone)

The harlot’s house

John Mark Ainsley (tenor)

Six songs to poems by William Blake

Roderick Williams (baritone)

Ya vas lyubil 'I loved you once'

John Mark Ainsley (tenor)

She is all harmony, all wonder

John Mark Ainsley (tenor)

Some people's dreams

Kathryn Rudge (mezzo)

Marguerite

Kathryn Rudge (mezzo)

A red, red rose

John Mark Ainsley (tenor)

It was a lover, and his lass

Kathryn Rudge (mezzo)

See, dearest, how the rose

Kathryn Rudge (mezzo)

Arcades

John Mark Ainsley (tenor)

We'll go no more a-roving

John Mark Ainsley (tenor)

Longing

Kathryn Rudge (mezzo)

Oh, why are the roses so pale?

Kathryn Rudge (mezzo)

Old songs of lost love

Kathryn Rudge (mezzo)

In the mist

Kathryn Rudge (mezzo)

Raiders' dawn

John Mark Ainsley (tenor)

The youth of the heart

Roderick Williams (baritone)

He wishes for the cloths of heaven

Dame Felicity Lott (soprano)

Bilbo's Last Song

Roderick Williams (baritone), Dame Felicity Lott (soprano)


Christopher Glynn (piano)

Read our exclusive interview with Christopher Glynn about the recording here.

Swann but no Flanders: this economically priced collection celebrates the unique talents of a gifted songwriter whose settings of poets from Burns to Betjeman are ripe for revival. The quartet of distinguished singers is luxury casting.

“this is a continually fascinating and diverse selection...The real star of the show is Christopher Glynn, for whom the project has evidently been a labour of love. The detail and colour of his playing (to say nothing of the way he meets the many technical challenges Swann presents with a knowing wink) in the more than two hours of accompaniments is a fine achievement.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2017

“There are some surprises: Ainsley delivers a passionate Russian number, I loved you once, a Pushkin setting that wouldn’t disgrace Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninov. The real revelation, however, is the talent shown by the newcomer of the singing quartet: Rudge, a rising mezzo-soprano with rich tone, who brings more ardour and less archness to the material than her more fêted colleagues.” Sunday Times, 6th August 2017

“the quality of Swann’s craft is clear and Glynn points up every careful detail of some colourful piano writing...If there’s a real revelation, however, it’s the talent shown by the newcomer of the singing quartet: Rudge, a rising mezzo-soprano with rich tone, who brings more ardour and less archness to the material than her more fêted colleagues.” The Times, 28th July 2017 ***

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Hyperion - CDA68172

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Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music

Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music

and other works


Vaughan Williams:

Serenade to Music

Elizabeth Connell (soprano), Amanda Roocroft (soprano), John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Martyn Hill (tenor), Maldwyn Davies (tenor), Anne Dawson (soprano), Linda Kitchen (soprano), Alan Opie (baritone), Gwynne Howell (bass), Sir Thomas Allen (baritone), Sarah Walker (mezzo-soprano), Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzo-soprano) & John Connell (bass)

Five Mystical Songs

Sir Thomas Allen (baritone)

Fantasia on Christmas Carols

Sir Thomas Allen (baritone)

Flos Campi

Nobuko Imai (viola)


“Performances like these don’t come along very often; each one is an absolute winner, and with rich, atmospheric recording quality the satisfaction is of a very special quality” CD Review

“Strongly recommended!” Fanfare

“Profoundly moving” Gramophone Magazine

“Sometimes heard as a full choral work, the Serenade to Music takes on its greatest beauty in its original version for sixteen soloists. Matthew Best's soloists are certainly up to the task here, with some big names in the ranks and a sound that beautifully sits between choral and soloistic singing styles. Thomas Allen is a moving and believable soloist in the Five Mystical Songs; after just a few bars of the first number, Easter, I was convinced.” David Smith, Presto Classical, June 2014

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Hyperion 30th Anniversary - CDA30025

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Vaughan Williams - Choral Works

Vaughan Williams - Choral Works

from CDA66420, CDA66655, CDA66511 & CDA66569


Vaughan Williams:

Serenade to Music

Elizabeth Connell (soprano), Amanda Roocroft (soprano), John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Martyn Hill (tenor), Maldwyn Davies (tenor), Anne Dawson (soprano), Linda Kitchen (soprano), Alan Opie (baritone), Gwynne Howell (bass), Sir Thomas Allen (baritone), Sarah Walker (mezzo-soprano), Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzosoprano) & John Connell (bass)

English Chamber Orchestra

Fantasia on Christmas Carols

Thomas Allen (baritone)

English Chamber Orchestra

Flos Campi

Nobuko Imai (viola)

English Chamber Orchestra

Five Mystical Songs

Sir Thomas Allen (baritone)

English Chamber Orchestra

Dona Nobis Pacem

A Cantata for soprano and baritone soli, chorus and orchestra

Judith Howarth (soprano) & Thomas Allen (baritone)

Corydon Orchestra

Four Hymns

for tenor, viola and strings

John Mark Ainsley (tenor) & Matthew Souter (viola)

Corydon Orchestra

O Clap Your Hands (Psalm 47)

Lord, Thou has been our refuge

Sir Thomas Allen (baritone)

The Pilgrim's Progress - A Bunyan Sequence

Text and music adapted by Christopher Palmer from the 1942 radio version of The Pilgrim's Progress.

Sir John Gielgud, Richard Pasco, Ursula Howells (speakers), Aidan Oliver (treble)

The City of London Sinfonia

A Song of Thanksgiving

Sir John Gielgud (speaker), Lynne Dawson (soprano) & John Scott (organ)

The London Oratory Junior Choir

Three Choral Hymns

Magnificat

Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzo-soprano), Duke Dobing (flute) & Roger Judd (organ)

The Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains

Bryn Terfel (baritone), Alan Opie (baritone), Adrian Thompson (tenor), Jonathan Best (bass), John Mark Ainsley (tenor) & Linda Kitchen (soprano)

The Hundredth Psalm 'O be joyful in the Lord'

Toward the Unknown Region


Issued to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Vaughan Williams’s death, this collection is tantalizing: it starts with one of the best-selling discs in the the catalogue, the Serenade to Music, and includes such favourites as the Five Mystical Songs and The Hundreth Psalm. There are also two intriguing pairings: in Dona nobis pacem, RVW warns of the impending doom of WWII, in A song of thanksgiving we hear his moving response to its successful conclusion; in The shepherds of the delectable mountains we hear an early working of Bunyan’s literary masterpiece, later extensively reworked in the landmark 1942 BBC radio production of The Pilgrim’s Progress featuring Sir John Gielgud and reprised here, this time in condensed form.

“The performances are splendid, graced by such soloists as Thomas Allen (Dona nobis pacem, Five Mystical Songs) and Bryn Terfel (The Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains)..The rapturous Serenade to Music has a cast of 16 singers fit to rival those of the original recording. Anne Dawson’s top note on the word “music” is spine-tingling.” Sunday Times, 1st June 2008 ****

“Performances like these don’t come along very often; each one is an absolute winner, and with rich, atmospheric recording quality the satisfaction is of a very special quality” CD Review

“Best has a fine sense of VW as a dramatic composer, bringing tremendous urgency to Dona Nobis Pacem and real passion to the Five Mystical Songs. Best's Serenade to Music is the original, not least in matching the star quality of the singers, but also in its magical atmosphere. He equally evokes VW's sensuous side, not only in Flos Campi but also in the Magnificat with its ecstatic writing for female voices.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2008 *****

“Matthew Best and the Corydon Singers have made something of a speciality of English choral music, and this four-CD box-set showcases their beautiful sound and consummate musicality. They're mostly smaller-scale works, though Dona Nobis Pacem features, and there are some less well-known items such as the Song of Thanksgiving - which in the Corydon Singers' capable hands are just as appealing as the established favourites.” David Smith, Presto Classical, June 2014

Presto Disc of the Week

14th July 2008

Building a Library

First Choice - July 2017

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Hyperion - CDS44321/4

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Britten - Purcell Realizations

Britten - Purcell Realizations


Britten:

The knotting song

from Orpheus Britannicus

Seven songs

from Orpheus Britannicus

Six songs

from Orpheus Britannicus

O solitude

from Orpheus Britannicus

Five songs

from Orpheus Britannicus

Celemene

from Orpheus Britannicus

Six duets

from Orpheus Britannicus

The Queen's Epicediumcus

from Harmonia Sacraumcus

The Blessed Virgin's Expostulation

from Harmonia Sacraumcus

Saul and the witch at Endor

from Harmonia Sacraumcus

Three divine hymns

from Harmonia Sacraumcus

Job's curse

from Harmonia Sacraumcus

Two divine hymns and Alleluia

from Harmonia Sacraumcus

Dulcibella

from Harmonia Sacraumcus

When Myra sings

from Harmonia Sacraumcus

Let the dreadful engines of eternal will

from Harmonia Sacraumcus


2 discs for the price of one

“Two irresistible discs—typically painstakingly produced and documented—and would deserve four stars if only they were there to give” The Times

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Hyperion Dyads - CDD22058

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L’invitation au voyage

L’invitation au voyage

Mélodies from La belle époque


 

Soupir

Sully Prudhomme

Paul (1852–1933) & Lucien (1860–1909) Hillemacher

Si mes vers avaient des ailes

Victor Hugo

Paul (1852–1933) & Lucien (1860–1909) Hillemacher

L'invitation au voyage

Charles Baudelaireyage

Paul (1852–1933) & Lucien (1860–1909) Hillemacher

Ici-bas

Sully Prudhomme

Paul (1852–1933) & Lucien (1860–1909) Hillemacher

Sérénade

Alfred de Musset

Paul (1852–1933) & Lucien (1860–1909) Hillemacher

Cressonnois:

L'invitation au voyage

Charles Baudelaire

Delibes:

Départ

Émile Augier

Bonjour, Suzon!

Alfred de Musset

Regrets !

Armand Silvestre

Duparc:

L'invitation au voyage

Charles Baudelaire

Godard, B:

Chanson du berger

Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian

Guitare

Victor Hugo

L'invitation au voyage

Charles Baudelaire

Viens !

Victor Hugo

Lecocq:

La cigale et la fourmi

Jean de la Fontaine

La chauve-souris et les deux belettes

Jean de la Fontaine

Paladilhe:

Psyché

Pierre Corneille

Les papillons

Théophile Gautier

La chanson des blondes

Jean Aicard

Danse indienne

Jean Lahor

Pessard:

Le spectre de la rose

Théophile Gautier

Oh! quand je dors

Victor Hugo

Puget:

Madrid

Alfred de Musset

Comment, disaient-ils

Victor Hugo


“There are some fine songs here. I was glad… to be reminded what a good composer Delibes is, and to be introduced to Lecocq's wonderfully witty settings of La Fontaine. The actual piano sound is for me a touch prosaic at times, but this is compensated by John Mark Ainsley's absolute control and superb diction... A disc to treasure.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2006 *****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - August 2006

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Hyperion French Song Edition - CDA67523

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Fauré - The Complete Songs - 3

Fauré - The Complete Songs - 3

Chanson d’amour


Fauré:

Puisque j'ai mis ma lèvre

Tristesse d'Olympio

Hymne Op. 7 No. 2

Sylvie, Op. 6 No. 3

Poème d'un jour Op. 21

Nell, Op. 18 No. 1

Notre amour Op. 23 No. 2

Le secret Op. 23 No. 3

Chanson d'amour, Op. 27 No. 1

Fleur jetée, Op. 39 No. 2

Les présents Op. 46 No. 1

Shylock Op. 57

Sérénade: Le bourgeois gentilhomme

La Bonne Chanson, Op. 61

Le ramier Op. 87 No. 2

Le don silencieux Op. 92


Felicity Lott, Jennifer Smith (soprano), John Mark Ainsley, Jean-Paul Fouchécourt (tenor), Christopher Maltman, Stephen Varcoe (baritone), Ronan O’Hora, Graham Johnson (piano)

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Hyperion French Song Edition - CDA67335

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Fauré - The Complete Songs - 2

Fauré - The Complete Songs - 2

Un paysage choisi


Fauré:

Mai Op. 1 No. 2

Puisqu'ici-bas toute âme Op. 10 No. 1

Dans les ruines d'une abbaye Op. 2 No. 1

Lydia, Op. 4 No. 2

L'absent Op. 5 No. 3

Chant d'automne Op. 5 No. 1

Tristesse, Op. 6 No. 2

Après un rêve, Op. 7 No. 1

Le voyageur Op. 18 No. 2

Sérénade toscane Op. 3 No. 2

Automne, Op. 18 No. 3

La fée aux chansons Op. 27 No. 2

Noël Op. 43 No. 1

Clair de Lune, Op. 46 No. 2

Spleen, Op. 51 No. 3 (Verlaine)

Il est né, le divin enfant

En prière

Prison, Op. 83 No. 1

Dans la forêt de septembre Op. 85 No. 1

Chanson Op. 94

Le jardin clos Op. 106


Jennifer Smith, Geraldine McGreevy, Felicity Lott (sopranos), Stella Doufexis (mezzo), John Mark Ainsley, Jean-Paul Fouchécourt (tenors), Christopher Maltman, Stephen Varcoe (baritones), Graham Johnson (piano)

“There's a high standard of singing throughout and… Geraldine McGreevy offers delicacy, shape and direction, combined with an intelligent variety of tone, and Christopher Maltman's more forthright approach gives impetus to 'Le voyageur' and 'Prison'. Though her tone is a touch mature, Jennifer Smith is able to draw on the warm colours of her voice for the late cycle Le jardin clos (1914), a sombre, understated piece that emphasises the oblique, unpredictable harmony of the composer's final period.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2005 ****

“Volume 2 of Hyperion's superb Fauré song series takes its theme from Clair de lune and an idealised landscape peopled with dreaming birds and sobbing fountains. It follows the composer from youth to old age, from the young charmer to the mature master to the inscrutable sage, imaginatively side-stepping all possible monotony.
Fauré's dream world is a mirror of an occasionally innocent nature that received too many cruel knocks, reflected in music of light and darkness, courage and despair. All the singers involved in this ideally presented and recorded offering perform with a special ardour and commitment; Graham Johnson is, as always, a matchless partner and commentator.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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Hyperion French Song Edition - CDA67334

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Fauré - The Complete Songs - 1

Fauré - The Complete Songs - 1


Fauré:

Les matelots Op. 2 No. 2

Seule! Op. 3 No. 1

Chanson du pêcheur Op. 4 No. 1

Barcarolle Op. 7 No. 3

Tarentelle Op. 10 No. 2

Au bord de l'eau, Op. 8 No. 1 (Prudhomme)

Les berceaux, Op. 23 No. 1

Au cimetière, Op. 51 No. 2

Larmes Op. 51 No. 1

Cinq Melodies 'de Venise', Op. 58

Pleurs d'or Op. 72

Accompagnement Op. 85 No. 3

La fleur qui va sur l'eau Op. 85 No. 2

Mirages, Op. 113

C'est la paix Op. 114

L'horizon chimérique, Op. 118


Felicity Lott, Jennifer Smith, Geraldine McGreevy (sopranos), Stella Doufexis (mezzo), John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Christopher Maltman, Stephen Varcoe (baritones), Graham Johnson (piano)

“Few singers would give over a whole evening to Fauré's songs on the concert platform, and choosing a way of presenting them on disc obviously poses problems. Previous sets had all the songs in chronological order; others chose poets or moods: Graham Johnson and company have begun with songs about water. This means a lot of dreaming and melancholy, whether in Gautier's Chanson du pêcheur ('Ma belle amie est morte', also set by Berlioz), or Richepin's Aucimitière. The latter is given a most beautiful rendition by John Mark Ainsley, who otherwise only sings on two tracks, with Jennifer Smith in the sentimental Pleurs d'or, and the homage to Venice and its lovers in Marc Monnier's Barcarolle.
Three cycles are the main items here. Felicity Lott sings the Cinq Mélodies de Venise, which includes some of Fauré's best-known songs, 'Mandoline', 'En sourdine' and 'Green'. She brings to bear on them a lifetime's devotion to French song. Her other contribution is Au bordde l'eau, to a poem by Sully-Prudhomme. This is made to sound very sad; taken faster it can be quite merry; it's a celebration of love, as well as a meditation on the passing of time.
Stephen Varcoe sings Mirages, Fauré's penultimate cycle (1919). As Graham Johnson writes in his fascinating notes, these poems by Brimont permitted Fauré 'uneventful passion'. Christopher Maltman is the other featured singer, in five separate songs and L'horizon chimérique. All the performances are elegant and well-balanced, but one misses the extra slight note of acid that native French singers bring to Fauré's songs.
Hyperion's sound is impeccable and in both his playing and accompanying essay, Graham Johnson penetrates to the heart of one of music's most subtle and enigmatic geniuses.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2005

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Hyperion French Song Edition - CDA67333

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Vaughan Williams: Songs

Vaughan Williams: Songs


Vaughan Williams:

Merciless Beauty

Searching for Lambs

Ten Blake Songs

Along the Field

On Wenlock Edge

The Lawyer


“The programme here has an identity of its own and as such is without competitors. Its 'theme' is to collect those of Vaughan Williams's songs which have something other than piano accompaniment.
On Wenlock Edge (1909) is for voice, piano and string quartet, Merciless Beauty (1921) with string trio, Along the Field (1927) and TwoEnglish Folksongs (published 1935 but of earlier date) voice and violin, and the Blake songs (1957) with oboe. Eligible for inclusion might have been Four Hymns (1914) with piano and viola, and perhaps The Willow Whistle (1939) for voice and pipe. The Three Vocalises of 1958, with clarinet, are specifically for soprano, but show the composer's continuing taste for such combinations right into the last year of his life. John Mark Ainsley sings with the sense of a civilised personal utterance, refined and restrained, yet capable of full-bodied tone and a ringing forte when needed: the cry 'O noisy bells, be dumb' is as emotional as an operatic climax and all the more effective for the exceptional frankness of its release. These are highly demanding pieces, the voice unremittingly exposed. He brings to them a fine poise, in breathing, phrasing, expression and the even emission of quite beautiful tone. He has also the considerable advantage of exceptional players to work with.
Individually admirable, they combine in OnWenlock Edge to give an unusually imaginative performance.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Building a Library

First Choice - March 2001

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Hyperion - CDA67168

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Quilter: Songs by Roger Quilter

Quilter: Songs by Roger Quilter


Quilter:

Three Shakespeare Songs, Op. 6

Four Songs Of Mirza Schaffy, Op. 2

Autumn Evening, Op. 14 No. 1 (Arthur Maquarie)

June (Nora Hopper) (1905)

Two September Songs, Op. 18 Nos. 5 & 6

Arab Love Song, Op. 25 No. 4 (Shelley)

Music, when soft voices die, Op. 25 No. 5 (Shelley)

Love's Philosophy, Op. 3 No. 1 (Shelley)

Five Shakespeare Songs Op. 23

Now sleeps the crimson petal, Op. 3 No. 2 (Tennyson)

Go, lovely Rose, Op. 24 No. 3 (Edmund Wailer)

A last year's Rose, Op. 14 No. 3 (William Henley)

FOUR CHILD SONGS Op. 5 (Robert Louis Stevenson) (1914) - A good Child, The Lamplighter, Where go the boats?

Seven Elizabethan Lyrics, Op. 12

OLD ENGLISH POPULAR SONGS (1921) (Drink to me only with thine eyes (Ben Jonson), Barbara Allen (traditional), Over the Mountains (traditional))

Four Shakespeare Songs, Op. 30


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Hyperion - CDA66878

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