The English Song Series Volume 20 - George Butterworth

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The English Song Series Volume 20 - George Butterworth


Gramophone Awards 2011

Shortlisted - Solo Vocal



Catalogue No:




Release date:

28th June 2010




50 minutes


CD (download also available)
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The English Song Series Volume 20 - George Butterworth

Butterworth, G:

A Shropshire Lad - six songs

Eleven Folk Songs from Sussex

Bredon Hill and other songs

I Will Make You Brooches

I Fear Thy Kisses


Roderick Williams (baritone) & Iain Burnside (piano)



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One of England’s most distinctive composers, George Butterworth belonged to the generation of young men decimated in the Great War of 1914-1918.

His sensitive and melancholic settings of poems from A. E. Housman’s A Shropshire Lad, with their subject matter of the futility and arbitrariness of war, are small-scale masterpieces. Of particular note are the ‘Loveliest of Trees’, describing the passing of the seasons, and the ghostly and elegiac ‘Is my team ploughing?’

The Folk Songs from Sussex and settings of poems by R. L. Stevenson, Shelley and Wilde, whose subject matter revolves around flirtation, love, courtship, marriage and desertion, are no less notable for their attention to detail, linguistic nuance and delicate, economical piano writing.

George Butterworth: 6 Songs from A Shropshire Lad

No. 1. Loveliest of trees

No. 2. When I was one-and-twenty

No. 3. Look not in my eyes

No. 4. Think no more, lad

No. 5. The lads in their hundreds

No. 6. Is my team ploughing?

George Butterworth: 11 Folk Songs from Sussex

No. 7. A brisk young sailor courted me

No. 8. Seventeen come Sunday

No. 9. Roving in the dew

No. 10. The true lover's farewell

No. 11. Tarry trousers

George Butterworth: Bredon Hill and Other Songs

No. 1. Bredon Hill

No. 2. O Fair enough are sky and plain

No. 3. When the lad for the longing sighs

No. 4. On the idle hill of summer

No. 5. With rue my heart is laden

George Butterworth: I Will Make You Brooches

I Will Make You Brooches

George Butterworth: I Fear Thy Kisses

I Fear Thy Kisses

George Butterworth: Requiescat


George Butterworth: 11 Folk Songs from Sussex

No. 1. Yonder stands a lovely creature

No. 2. A blacksmith courted me

No. 3. Sowing the seeds of love

No. 4. A lawyer he went out one day

No. 5. Come my own one

No. 6. The cuckoo

The Guardian

1st July 2010


“The wonderful refinement and care with every morsel of text that Williams has shown in his earlier contributions to this series pay dividends here again – his musical poise and sheer beauty of tone in the very first phrase of Loveliest of Trees sets the standard for the 11 songs that follow, and Burnside is a model partner.”

The Observer

4th July 2010

“In a vivid musical partnership with pianist Iain Burnside, Roderick Williams captures the mix of jauntiness and melancholy, adding tender flashes of wit.”

Financial Times

3rd July 2010


“Williams, accompanied by Iain Burnside, proves a winning advocate, thanks partly to his crisp, fresh baritone, but mainly because of the way he distinguishes between the character of each song, so that this recital never loses momentum.”

BBC Music Magazine

August 2010


“Roderick Williams [is] rapidly becoming the voice of this repertoire - and not without reason.”

The Telegraph

16th July 2010


“Their qualities of melancholic reverie and suppressed yearning are quite beautifully rendered”

Gramophone Magazine

Awards Issue 2010

“Williams's engagingly fresh delivery, secure technique, eloquent turn of phrase and variety of tone are a joy throughout, as is his crystal-clear diction. Burnside, too, is at his customarily unmannered, attentive best, the crispness and poise of his pianism a pleasure to encounter.”

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