Divine Music - An English Songbook / Davies, Middleton

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“Inspirations and imaginings, evolving, changing English usage, landscapes, friendships and passings lie behind this album... Loosely, the songs we’ve selected embrace multiple interpre- tations and nuances of ‘divine’. As well as, I could argue, that sentiment of English song and English speaking composers embodying the [Blake/Parry] ‘Jerusalem-Builded-Here’ trope. The world I came from (singing in choir stalls), along with how countertenors are perceived generally, has been hard to escape. So here perhaps I’m taking on the challenge. As well as an opportunity to include songs written for me that for some while I’ve been needing to put down on disc.” (Iestyn Davies) ‘Divine Music’ marks Iestyn Davies’ third recital album on Signum Classics. The ‘Four Songs’ (Purcell/ Adès), Spoons Aria (Adès), Four Traditional Songs and Old Bones (Muhly) are world premiere recordings. Muhly’s Four Traditional Songs were also written dedicated to Iestyn Davies.


It’s lovely to hear Butterworth’s Shropshire Lad songs in this pairing, a countertenor voice adding a wan fragility to ‘Is my team ploughing?’ and a wistful sense of perpetual youth and innocence to ‘The lads in their hundreds’.

-- Gramophone

Product Description:

  • Release Date: May 05, 2023

  • Catalog Number: SIGCD725

  • UPC: 635212072523

  • Label: Signum Classics

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Composer: Thomas Ades, George Butterworth, William Croft, Herbert Howells, Nico Muhly, Henry Purcell

  • Performer: Iestyn Davies, Joseph Middleton