British Song

Heritage: HTGCD240

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British Song



Catalogue No:




Release date:

6th Aug 2012




77 minutes


CD (download also available)
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British Song

Berkeley, L:

Five Chinese Songs, Op. 78

Crosse, G:

The New World


Surrealist Landscape


Harvey, J:



Stevie Smith Songs, 1948-53

Meriel Dickinson (mezzo), Peter Dickinson (piano)



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The brother and sister team of Meriel and Peter Dickinson was widely known from the late 1960s to the early 1990s. They made a strong impact with programmes of American music in all parts of the British Isles and in several European countries, including broadcasts [American Song was reissued on Heritage HTGCD 231 in 2011]. They appeared together in the BBC TV programme for the centenary of Charles Ives (1974); Meriel Dickinson was accompanied by Copland in another BBC TV programme made for the composer’s 75th birthday; and in 1986 they both performed on the South Bank Show documentary about Peter Dickinson produced by Melvyn Bragg on ITV.

In addition to their popular and entertaining programmes they also worked closely with a number of living British composers who were particularly attracted by the special qualities of their performances. Three works written specially for the Dickinsons form the basis of this collection of reissued first recordings. None of the music falls into the category of the conventional English song cycle and all of it demonstrates the vitality of the voice and piano medium enriched by a variety of texts and dramatic situations

Peter Dickinson: Surrealist Landscape (Lord Berners): Surrealist Landscape

Surrealist Landscape (Lord Berners): Surrealist Landscape

Jonathan Harvey: Correspondances (Baudelaire): Song 1

Correspondances (Baudelaire): Song 1

Peter Dickinson: Correspondances (Baudelaire)

Song 2

Song 3

Song 4

Lennox Berkeley: Chinese Songs Op. 78, 1971

People hide their love

The autumn wind

Dreaming of a dead lady

Late spring

The riverside village

Gordon Crosse: The New World (Ted Hughes)

It is not long

When the star was on her brow

A star stands on her forehead

I said goodbye to the earth

The street was empty

Where did we go?

Peter Dickinson: Extravaganzas (Gregory Corso)

The streetsinger

Outside the wall

Death weeps

I hang old photos

Four windmills

O people!

Mrs Lombardi's month-old son is dead

Last night I drove a car

Elisabeth Lutyens: Stevie Smith Songs


The songster

Up and down

Ceux qui luttent

Be off!

Lady 'Rouge' Singleton

The film star

The actress

The repentance of Lady T

Pad, pad

BBC Music Magazine

September 2013


“This brother-sister partnership of some 30 years offers British song with many an unpredictable difference”

International Record Review

November 2014

“consistently fine, in good sound, and the repertoire is enormously interesting.”

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