Somervell: Maud & A Shropshire Lad Roderick Williams
- Arthur Somervell (1863 - 1937): Maud:
- 1Maud: No. 1, I Hate the Dreadful Hollow01:44
- 2Maud: No. 2, A Voice by the Cedar Tree03:59
- 3Maud: No. 3, She Came to the Village Church01:24
- 4Maud: No. 4, O Let the Solid Ground01:08
- 5Maud: No. 5, Birds in the High Hall Garden02:40
- 6Maud: No. 6, Maud Has a Garden01:43
- 7Maud: No. 7, Go Not, Happy Day01:35
- 8Maud: No. 8, I Have Led Her Home02:35
- 9Maud: No. 9, Come Into the Garden, Maud03:28
- 10Maud: No. 10, The Fault Was Mine03:40
- 11Maud: No. 11, Dead, Long Dead04:08
- 12Maud: No. 12, O That 'Twere Possible01:45
- 13Maud: No. 13, My Life Has Crept so Long05:12
- Arthur Somervell:
- 14A Kingdom by the Sea03:36
- A Shropshire Lad:
- 15A Shropshire Lad: No. 1, Loveliest of Trees01:52
- 16A Shropshire Lad: No. 2, When I Was One-and-Twenty01:09
- 17A Shropshire Lad: No. 3, There Pass the Careless People01:25
- 18A Shropshire Lad: No. 4, In Summer-Time on Bredon03:11
- 19A Shropshire Lad: No. 5, The Street Sounds to a Soldier's Tread02:00
- 20A Shropshire Lad: No. 6, On the Idle Hill of Summer02:23
- 21A Shropshire Lad: No. 7, White in the Moon the Long Road Lies02:55
- 22A Shropshire Lad: No. 8, Think No More, Lad01:43
- 23A Shropshire Lad: No. 9, Into My Heart an Air That Kills01:37
- 24A Shropshire Lad: No. 10, The Lads in Their Hundreds, to Ludlow Come In for the Fair02:45
- Arthur Somervell:
- 25Shepherd's Cradle Song02:35
Info for Somervell: Maud & A Shropshire Lad
SOMM Recordings announces an important new recording of two classic English song cycles by Sir Arthur Somervell – Maud and A Shropshire Lad – from the acclaimed partnership of baritone Roderick Williams and pianist Susie Allan.
Hailed as “the English Schumann” for his mastery of song setting, song cycles in particular, Somervell’s music is marked by a distinctive blend of lyricism and harmony that makes itself indelibly felt in these two seminal works of the English song repertoire.
His first cycle, Maud, setting 13 poems from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s dark monodrama, was first performed in 1899 at the height of a fashion for recitals of songs sung in English. An intense, impassioned portrayal of infatuation, it is marked by remarkably eloquent and revealing relationships between voice and text, and voice and piano.
Composed in 1904, the 10 poems from A.E. Housman’s A Shropshire Lad portray a young man wistfully contemplating nature, life and love at the age of 20 before following him through a life full of incident, the horror of the First World War and growing self-awareness. It prompted from Somervell texturally rich and varied music shot through with an aching lyricism all the more powerful and potent for its folk song-like simplicity and directness.
Completing the recital are the enchanting, ever-popular lullaby Shepherd’s Cradle Song and wistful tale of childhood sweethearts with texts by Edgar Allan Poe, A Kingdom by the Sea. British music authority Jeremy Dibble provides informative booklet notes and Roderick Williams a revealing take on Somervell’s music from a singer’s perspective.
Roderick Williams and Susie Allan’s most recent SOMM releases include Celebrating English Song (SOMMCD 0177), described by MusicWeb International as “an exemplary recital of English song”, and BBC Music Magazine’s “strongly recommended” Severn & Somme (SOMMCD 057) focusing on Ivor Gurney and his peers.
Roderick Williams, baritone
Susie Allan, piano
sings a wide repertoire, from baroque to contemporary music, in the opera house, on the concert platform, and in recital. He has performed in all the major opera houses in the United Kingdom and is particularly associated with the baritone rôles of Mozart. He has also sung world premières of operas by David Sawer, Sally Beamish, Michael van der Aa, Robert Saxton and Alexander Knaifel. Williams sings concert repertoire with all the BBC orchestras as well as the Bournemouth Symphony, London Sinfonietta, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Russian National Orchestra, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, among many others. His festival appearances include the BBC Proms, Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Aldeburgh and Melbourne. Roderick Williams is also a composer and has had works performed at the Barbican Centre, the Purcell Room, and Wigmore Hall.