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Entertaining Miss Austen / Amanda Pitt, John Lofthouse, David Owen Norris

Pitt / Lofthouse
Release Date: 09/13/2011 
Label:  Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog #: 7271   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  AnonymousFranz Joseph HaydnJames HookTraditional,   ... 
Performer:  David Owen NorrisAmanda PittJohn Lofthouse
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



ENTERTAINING MISS AUSTEN: Newly Discovered Music From Jane Austen’s Family Collection Amanda Pitt (sop); John Lofthouse (bar); David Owen Norris (pn) DUTTON CDLX 7271 (73:55)


Obviously aimed to fans of Jane Austen’s classic novels, this disc offers mildly pleasant but decidedly slender musical fare—five solo piano pieces and 16 songs drawn from 17 music albums owned by Jane Austen or her near relations. Except for one song by Haydn and a keyboard arrangement of the overture to Rodelinda Read more by Handel, the assorted selections are by various quite obscure composers and arrangers, including the ubiquitous Anon., though one’s interest is mildly piqued at the inclusion of a “Fairy Dance” by Mattias Holst, the great-grandfather of Gustav Holst, and the presence of three women among the composers. Intended for genteel amusement in private parlors and at society soirées, three of these popular songs are known (through Jane’s niece Caroline) to have been particular favorites of the renowned author. The performances themselves are stylish and enjoyable, though soprano Amanda Pitt has a somewhat matronly voice with a wobble, and baritone John Lofthouse has an incipient beat in his upper register. The period piano, ably played by David Owen Norris, has a quite ingratiating sound that fits the music perfectly. The recorded sound is fine, with a bit of distance from the performers allowing for a touch of resonance. While hardly an essential acquisition, this release will appeal to Austen aficionados and to those interested in early 19th-century popular musical fare.


FANFARE: James A. Altena
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Works on This Recording

1.
Fairy Dance by Anonymous
Performer:  David Owen Norris (Piano)
2.
Original Canzonettas Book 2, H 26a: no 34, She never told her love by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  David Owen Norris (Piano), Amanda Pitt (Soprano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1795; London, England 
3.
One half o’ the world by James Hook
Performer:  David Owen Norris (Piano), John Lofthouse (Baritone)
4.
Waly, Waly by Traditional
Performer:  David Owen Norris (Piano), Amanda Pitt (Soprano)
5.
Crazy Jane by Harriet Abrams
Performer:  David Owen Norris (Piano), Amanda Pitt (Soprano)
Period: Classical 
6.
Robin Adair by George Kiallmark
Performer:  David Owen Norris (Piano)
7.
Captivity by Stephen Storace
Performer:  David Owen Norris (Piano), Amanda Pitt (Soprano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1793; England 
8.
Que j’aime à voir les hirondelles by Anonymous
Performer:  David Owen Norris (Piano), Amanda Pitt (Soprano)
9.
Fandango by Ann Thicknesse
Performer:  David Owen Norris (Piano)
10.
Queen Mary's lamentation by Tommaso Giordani
Performer:  David Owen Norris (Piano), Amanda Pitt (Soprano)
Period: Classical 
11.
Song from Burns by Anonymous
Performer:  David Owen Norris (Piano), Amanda Pitt (Soprano)
12.
African Song by G. G. Ferrari
Performer:  David Owen Norris (Piano), John Lofthouse (Baritone)
13.
Hindoo Song by Edward Smith Biggs
Performer:  David Owen Norris (Piano), Amanda Pitt (Soprano)
14.
Rodelinda, HWV 19: Overture by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  David Owen Norris (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; London, England 
15.
The Irishman by Anonymous
Performer:  David Owen Norris (Piano), Amanda Pitt (Soprano)
Written: England 
16.
The Wife's Farewell by Michael Kelly
Performer:  David Owen Norris (Piano), Amanda Pitt (Soprano)
17.
The Husband's Return by Michael Kelly
Performer:  David Owen Norris (Piano), John Lofthouse (Baritone)
18.
Nobody coming to marry me by Anonymous
Performer:  David Owen Norris (Piano), Amanda Pitt (Soprano)
19.
Favorite Song from The Stranger by Georgiana Cavendish
Performer:  David Owen Norris (Piano)
20.
The Whim of the Day by James Hook
Performer:  David Owen Norris (Piano), John Lofthouse (Baritone)
21.
Les petits riens by Johann Baptist Cramer
Performer:  David Owen Norris (Piano)

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