Ireland: Songs

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
British composer John Ireland's songs have a variable quality that some might call inconsistency but actually reflects an engagement with text and a deep familiarity with English poetry from the mid-nineteenth through Ireland's own early twentieth century. Ireland's basic idiom is tonal and conservative, but dissimilar to that of his contemporary Vaughan Williams; it is impressionistic, with an intimate quality and a quietly spiritual connection to nature in many of them. But within that basic idiom, more so than in his better-known chamber music, Ireland is flexible. Such works as "Sea Fever" track 5, to a familiar poem by John Masefield, and "If There Were Dreams to ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
British composer John Ireland's songs have a variable quality that some might call inconsistency but actually reflects an engagement with text and a deep familiarity with English poetry from the mid-nineteenth through Ireland's own early twentieth century. Ireland's basic idiom is tonal and conservative, but dissimilar to that of his contemporary Vaughan Williams; it is impressionistic, with an intimate quality and a quietly spiritual connection to nature in many of them. But within that basic idiom, more so than in his better-known chamber music, Ireland is flexible. Such works as "Sea Fever" track 5, to a familiar poem by John Masefield, and "If There Were Dreams to Sell" track 27 are close to parlor song, while "I Have Twelve Oxen" track 14 is a light Renaissance-flavored setting, and a couple of songs to texts by Symbolist poet Arthur Symons "a very dirty-minded man," complained the Pall Mall Gazette, "Santa Chiara" Palm Sunday and "Tryst" In Fountain Court tracks 8 and 9, have an irregular, psychologically oriented relationship between the voice and piano parts. The centerpieces of the album are groups of settings of poems by A.E. Housman and Thomas Hardy. Anyone who loves those particular English poets will not fail to appreciate Ireland's settings: his melodic gift and economy of language combine into perfect representations of their terse, deeply pessimistic verses. The Naxos habit of relegating texts to its website is less annoying here than usual, for baritone Roderick Williams articulates the texts to the point of total intelligibility. His readings capture the inwardness and the hints of suppressed emotion in Ireland's songs, which are not as well known as they ought to be. This is a recommended introduction.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/27/2008
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313046775
  • Catalog Number: 8570467
  • Sales rank: 192,085

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Great things, for voice & piano - John Ireland & Thomas Hardy (2:21)
  2. 2–4 Songs (3) to Poems by Thomas Hardy, for voice & piano - John Ireland & Thomas Hardy (6:34)
  3. 3 Sea Fever, for voice & piano - John Ireland & John Masefield (2:31)
  4. 4 The bells of San Marie, for voice & piano - John Ireland & John Masefield (2:21)
  5. 5 The vagabond, for voice & piano - John Ireland & John Masefield (2:06)
  6. 6 Santa Chiara (Palm Sunday, Naples), for voice & piano - John Ireland & Arthur Symons (2:21)
  7. 7 Tryst, for voice & piano (from Two Songs, 1928) - John Ireland & Arthur Symons (4:06)
  8. 8 During Music, for voice & piano (from Two Songs, 1928) - John Ireland & Dante Gabriel Rossetti (2:17)
  9. 11–13 Marigold, impressions (3) for voice & piano - John Ireland & Ernest Dowson (11:08)
  10. 12 I have twelve oxen, for voice & piano - John Ireland & Roderick Williams (1:58)
  11. 15–17 We'll to the woods no more, songs (3) for voice & piano - John Ireland & Roderick Williams (7:32)
  12. 18–22 Songs (5) to poems by Thomas Hardy, for voice & piano - John Ireland & Thomas Hardy (10:01)
  13. 19 Work(s): The Cost - John Ireland & Eric Cooper (1:41)
  14. 20 When I am dead, my dearest, for voice & piano - John Ireland & Christina Rossetti (1:51)
  15. 21 Songs Sacred and Profane, songs (6) for voice & piano: 4. The Salley Gardens - John Ireland & Roderick Williams (2:09)
  16. 22 Tutto è sciolto, for voice & piano - John Ireland & James Joyce (1:53)
  17. 23 If there were dreams to sell, for voice & piano - John Ireland & Thomas Lovell Beddoes (2:28)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Roderick Williams Primary Artist
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