Songs Of Muriel Herbert / Tynan, Gilchrist, Norris

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Few British women composers of the early twentieth century are known today, either by name or by their music. Muriel Herbert is one who should be. ?Songs of Muriel Herbert? features many premiere recordings, each one beautifully delivered by soprano Ailish Tynan and tenor James Gilchrist, accompanied by David Owen Norris on piano.
? Muriel Herbert (1897 ? 1984) studied with Charles Stanford and Roger Quilter at the Royal College of Music, London. Her works consist mainly of songs inspired by poetry and works for violin and piano. This album focuses on her songs.
? Herbert was inspired by the poetry of many including Yeats and Joyce whom she met on many occasions. She was also intrigued by female poets such as Christina Rossetti. These songs have been brought back to life thanks to Herbert's daughter - the biographer Claire Tomalin. The songs are now all housed at the British Library Archive.
? The songs are hugely compelling and delightful and influences of one Herbert's favourite composers Debussy can be heard. Many of these songs are premiere recordings. Among the most popular are: Daffodils, Mirage, Autumn, Lost nightingale and Hips and haws.
? James Gilchristis in demand as a recitalist and chorus member and is a regular voice on BBC Radio 3 and a popular performer at the BBC Proms. He has sung at venues across Europe, America and the UK. His voice has been described as pure and sensitive with an even and beautiful tone. His first two solo albums on Linn Records were very well received; BBC Music Magazine listed ?Oh Fair To See? as a Benchmark Recording, and ?On Wenlock Edge? was a finalist in the Solo Vocal Album category at the 2008 Classic FM Gramophone Awards.
? In 2003 Ailish Tynan won the Rosenblatt Recital Prize at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Other awards include the Maggie Teyte Competition, Miriam Licette Award and the RTÉ Millennium Singer of the Future.
? David Owen Norris has been a featured artist in the Gilmore Festival in Michigan and in the English Music Festival in Dorchester. In 2008 he has given recitals from Edinburgh to Guernsey, including the City of London Festival, the Tate Gallery conference on Vauxhall Gardens, the Three Choirs Festival and Cheltenham.
Track Listing:
1. Loveliest of Trees 2. I cannot lose thee for a day 3. The Crimson Rose 4. I hear an army charging 5. Jour des Morts (Cimetière Montparnasse) 6. She weeps over Rahoon 7. On a Time 8. Have you seen but a white lily grow? 9. I dare not ask a kiss 10. Horsemen 11. To Daffodils 12. How beautiful is night 13. Renouncement 14. I think on thee in the night 15. Faint Heart in a Railway Train 16. Rose kissed me today 17. Lean out of the window 18. Love?s Secret 19. MS. of Benedictbeuern (Carmina Burana) 20. Autumn 21. The Lost Nightingale 22. Jenny kiss?d me 23. Children?s Song 1: Merry-go-round 24. Children?s Song 2: The Gypsies 25. Children?s Song 3: The Tadpole 26. Children?s Song 4: Jack Spratt 27. Children?s Song 5: Acorn and Willow 28. Children?s Song 6: The Bunny 29. In the Days of November (Hips and haws) 30. The Lake Isle of Innisfree 31. David?s Lament for Jonathan 32. Most Holy Night 33. When Death to either shall come 34. Cradle Song 35. Violets 36. Tewkesbury Road Reviews: 04 May 2009 The Observer Fiona Maddocks Your heart doesn't necessarily leap when a scholar announces the discovery of four dozen baroque flute sonatas by someone with a name like Vaporetto. Legions of neglected composers await rediscovery. But on rare occasions, the "lost" talent is real, the pleasure of stumbling across a new body of work exciting and lasting. This is so with Muriel Herbert (1897-1984), brought back to life in this collection of her art songs and performed here by a superb trio of musicians. Their commitment alone endorses the music's quality. Herbert studied music in an era when professional women composers were rare as woodlarks, yet every genteel young woman was expected to play and sing. Born in Sheffield to a musical family, she grew up, in straitened circumstances, in Liverpool, winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Music during the First World War. There she met the great composers of the day - Charles Stanford and the homosexual Roger Quilter, with whom, to no avail, she fell in love. Preferring to work on a small scale, she started writing the elegant songs which would become her main preoccupations. She had some early success. After the war, she lived a bohemian existence, associating with James Joyce and WB Yeats, composing, teaching at a girls' school and singing. But a bad marriage and a pram in the hallway put paid to the bigger career she might have enjoyed. Now her daughter, writer Claire Tomalin, has gathered a collection of her mother's often melancholy songs. She chose texts from a cross-section of poets: AE Housman's "Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now", Hardy's "Faint Heart in a Railway Carriage" (here retitled "Faint Heart in a Railway Train") and Yeats's "The Lake Isle of Innisfree". Piano accompaniments are poignant and skilfully played by David Owen Norris. Ailish Tynan and James Gilchrist sing with open-hearted commitment. I hope the pair incorporate many of these works into their recitals. Steeped in the English song tradition of the early 20th century, they grow on you with each listening. 14 April 2009 Musical Pointers Peter Grahame Woolf You just might have noted Muriel Emily Herbert's name in passing if you'd chanced upon Music Web's 2002 survey Some Women Composers - "Muriel Herbert's titles included Violets, Fountain Court, The Lake Isle of Innisfree, Contentment, Have You Seen But a White Lily Grow? and the familiar Housman words Loveliest of Trees: clearly her taste in lyrics was above the average." That is all... She had studied with Stanford at the Royal College of Music. A few of her songs were published in the '20s and James Joyce thought her settings of his poems were "much too good for the words"! With motherhood, and at a time of disinterest in women composers, her musical career faded into oblivion. This collection of mostly unpublished songs from the '20s and '30's is a treasure trove, re-discovered by her daughter, noted biographer Claire Tomalin, who had packed away all her papers upon Muriel Herbert's death in 1984; no-one was interested in them - ?Everyone's mother wrote songs...' she was told (mine included !). But a little interest surfaced later, first in a radio programme by a former pupil who had been taught by her when he was a boy soprano and who eventually produced this disc... This wonderful CD is the eventual outcome. It is not just Muriel Herbert's taste in poetry that was exceptional; so was her unselfconscious ease in prosody, the setting of words to music, which made me think of Hugo Wolf's. This has been an altogether happy project, with both Ailish Tynan and James Gilchrist in fine voice, supported ideally by David Owen Norris. These are honest songs that should find a welcome in anyone's recital. There is emotion which never becomes mawkish, and wit a-plenty. I greatly regret not having been able to come across Herbert's Children's Songs to Ada Harrison poems when I was trawling the publishers and libraries for repertoire for my boy singer son Simon; they are just as good as Malcolm Williamson's A Child's Garden which he recorded. You can access on Linn's website full information including sound samples of all the songs, two of the shortest Children's Songs, Merry-Go-Round and The Bunny complete. The songs are now archived at the British Library.

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: CKD335

  • UPC: 691062033527

  • Label: Linn Records

  • Composer: Muriel Herbert

  • Performer: Ailish Tynan, David Owen Norris, James Gilchrist