Percy Grainger: Folk Music

Percy Grainger: Folk Music

by Claire Booth


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Percy Grainger: Folk Music

Percy Grainger's versions of folk songs are unusual: not precisely settings, nor harmonizations, nor uses of the song as a starting point, but containing elements of all three. They are quite appealing, especially in straightforward performances like the ones here, and it's a bit hard to understand why they don't show up more often on song recitals. The tune is generally maintained intact, while the piano hints at, or fully embodies, themes in the text, and a performance that balances voice and piano equally yields good results: that's what soprano Claire Booth and pianist Christopher Glynn achieve here, and at Grainger's best, he could be almost Schubertian. Booth, a singer of many different voices, here adopts a clear, fresh, youthful sound that fits the young female protagonists of many of the songs. The tunes were mostly collected in the English countryside by Grainger himself and will be familiar to listeners from the British Isles and North America, sometimes under different names: the "Irish Tune from County Derry" is the song known in the U.S. as "Danny Boy." Sample "Hard Hearted Barb'ra (H)ellen" for an extreme but highly compelling development of Grainger's method, with tolling church bells and other effects as the story proceeds. The program is broken up with pieces for piano solo as well as a duet arrangement of "Country Gardens," a bona fide pop hit for Grainger where Booth herself takes the second piano part. Highly recommended.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/21/2017
Label: Avie
UPC: 0822252237221
catalogNumber: 2372


  1. Hard-Hearted Barb'ra (H)Ellen, folk song for voice & piano (BFMS unnumbered)
  2. Early One Morning, folk song for high voice & piano (BFMS unnumbered)
  3. Died for Love, folk song for female voice & piano (BFMS 10)
  4. The Twa Corbies, for male voice & piano
  5. The Sussex Mummers' Christmas Carol, folk song for voice & piano (edited by Stang)
  6. Lord Maxwell's Goodnight, folk song for voice & piano (BFMS 42)

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