Frederick Delius’s beautiful songs show his extraordinary gift for melody. John Ireland admired Delius enormously and his songs are inspired by a wide variety of literature, including his hugely popular setting of John Masefield’s Sea Fever. Renowned cellist Julian Lloyd Webber celebrates both composers’ remarkable melodic gifts in these sensitive arrangements, and pianist John Lenehan has received great acclaim for his Naxos recordings of Ireland’s complete piano music.
This recording revives a tradition which was common at the beginning of the last century, arranging the best of vocal music for instruments, of which the singing voice of the cello is one of the best suited. The performing cast here is something of a dream team. Julian Lloyd Webber’s large following will take little persuasion to explore his playing on this beautiful CD, and he is joined both by his cellist wife Jiaxin Cheng and Ireland expert John Lenehan, whose recordings include the Gramophone awardwinning Michael Nyman Piano Concerto (8554168).
Julian Lloyd Webber is one of today’s leading cellists. He has given the premières of more than fifty new works for cello and has inspired new compositions from composers as diverse as Malcolm Arnold and Joaquín Rodrigo to James MacMillan and Philip Glass. His partnership with John Lenehan began in the mid-1970s and they have since given recitals together all over the world. “…the doyen of British cellists” The Strad
“Hearing the songs of both composers without the texts, and played with such attention to contour and gradation, reminds us just how masterly and diverse both composers were in their art of the solo song...As the title of the disc suggests, this is an ideal collection to while away the summer evenings.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2012
“What emerges - as if we needed reminding - is the great gift of each man for melody: divorced from their texts, they work almost better in this form!” International Record Review, February 2012