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The Complete John Ireland Songbook, Vol. 1

Ireland / Stone / Kynoch
Release Date: 10/08/2013 
Label:  Stone Records   Catalog #: 8026   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  John Ireland
Performer:  Mark StoneSholto Kynoch
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



IRELAND Sea Fever. The Bells of San Marie. The Vagabond. Hope the Hornblower. The East Riding. In Praise of Neptune. Here’s to the Ships. Song from O’er the Hill. The Land of Lost Content. The Heart’s Desire. We’ll to the Woods No More. Hawthorn Time. Spring Sorrow. Two Songs to Poems by Rupert Brooke. Songs of a Great War. A Garrison Churchyard. Five Songs by Turlay Royce Mark Stone (bar); Sholto Kynoch (pn) STONE 5060192780260 (66:30 Text and Translation)


John Ireland Read more (1879–1962) wrote a considerable number of songs. Rarely do we find a recording devoted exclusively to them—let alone a collection that promises to give us all of them. There have been wonderful individual recordings of Ireland songs on collections by Peter Pears, Simon Keenlyside, Felicity Lott, Bryn Terfel, and others, but the only really strong collection of which I am aware is a three-disc set on Lyrita (2261), taken from LPs that date from the 1970s. The singing is magnificent on that set—Benjamin Luxon, Alan Rowlands, Alfred Hodgson, and John Mitchinson combine with major contributions. I presume that Mark Stone will involve other voices in future volumes.


Stone has been doing very valuable work on behalf of English songs on his own label, and that continues here. Ireland’s music does not deserve the neglect it has suffered. He had a genuine melodic gift, real imagination, an excellent sense of text-setting. Many of these songs show real inspiration. The Five Songs by Turlay Royce are light ballads that he wrote under that pseudonym. These popular songs were known as “royalty ballads,” and publishers would pay famous singers to perform them. Stone’s notes point out that “Turlay Royce” is an anagram of Royalty Cure. Light they may be, but they are delightful.


Ireland responded sensitively to poetry, and these songs are fine examples of a keen musical mind finding the right atmosphere to amplify and/or comment on the words of the poems, so that the music is consistently adding something of its own. Some of these songs have a strong inward-looking and intimate quality to them that can be quite gripping.


In the softer and more lyrical songs, Stone’s singing is lovely. He varies his dynamics nicely, and while the voice itself is not special, his feel for the shape of the line and his ear for shading make for some very effective and beautiful work here. The Heart’s Desire, Song from O’er the Hill, “The Soldier” (the first of the Two Songs to Poems by Rupert Brooke ), and quite a few others are quite special. Unfortunately, some of the songs push Stone beyond the limits of his natural resources. Hope the Hornblower, In Praise of Neptune, and “Blow Out, You Bugles” (the second of the Two Brooke Songs ) all sound somewhat forced. When he has to push, the tone turns throaty and dry. These songs are in the minority, and even in them the listener gets the essence of the music. Sholto Kynoch provides competent pianism, but doesn’t add special insights. The third piece in We’ll to the Woods No More is a piano solo, and is well played.


Although one cannot call this consistently great singing from beginning to end, the overall impression with which one is left is one of satisfaction mixed with gratitude for being introduced to so many imaginative, colorful songs with a wide emotional range, and in performances that are never less than competent and frequently better than that. Recorded sound is a bit echo-y, but one adjusts, and the notes are informative if somewhat basic.


FANFARE: Henry Fogel
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Sea fever, for voice & piano by John Ireland
Performer:  Mark Stone (), Sholto Kynoch (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1913; United Kingdom 
Venue:  The Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex 
Length: 2 Minutes 58 Secs. 
2.
The bells of San Marie, for voice & piano by John Ireland
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Mark Stone ()
Period: Modern 
Written: 1918; United Kingdom 
Venue:  The Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex 
Length: 3 Minutes 14 Secs. 
3.
The vagabond, for voice & piano by John Ireland
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Mark Stone ()
Period: Modern 
Written: 1922; United Kingdom 
Venue:  The Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex 
Length: 2 Minutes 20 Secs. 
4.
Hope the Hornblower, for voice & piano by John Ireland
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Mark Stone ()
Period: Modern 
Written: 1911 
Venue:  The Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex 
Length: 1 Minutes 37 Secs. 
5.
The East Riding, for voice & piano by John Ireland
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Mark Stone ()
Period: Modern 
Written: 1920 
Venue:  The Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex 
Length: 1 Minutes 39 Secs. 
6.
In praise of Neptune, for unison voices & piano by John Ireland
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Mark Stone ()
Period: Modern 
Written: 1911 
Venue:  The Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex 
Length: 1 Minutes 49 Secs. 
7.
Here's to the ships!, for voice & piano by John Ireland
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Mark Stone ()
Period: Modern 
Written: 1912 
Venue:  The Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex 
Length: 2 Minutes 16 Secs. 
8.
Song from o'er the hill, for voice & piano by John Ireland
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Mark Stone ()
Period: Modern 
Written: 1913 
Venue:  The Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex 
Length: 2 Minutes 34 Secs. 
9.
The Land of Lost Content, cycle of 6 songs for voice & piano by John Ireland
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Mark Stone ()
Period: Modern 
Written: 1920-1921 
Venue:  The Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex 
Length: 11 Minutes 1 Secs. 
10.
The Heart's Desire (The boys are up the woods with day), for voice & piano by John Ireland
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Mark Stone ()
Period: Modern 
Written: 1917 
Venue:  The Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex 
Length: 2 Minutes 21 Secs. 
11.
We'll to the woods no more, songs (3) for voice & piano by John Ireland
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Mark Stone ()
Period: Modern 
Written: 1927 
Venue:  The Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex 
Length: 7 Minutes 44 Secs. 
12.
Hawthorn Time ('Tis time, I think, by Wenlock town), for voice & piano by John Ireland
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Mark Stone ()
Period: Modern 
Written: 1919 
Venue:  The Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex 
Length: 1 Minutes 50 Secs. 
13.
Spring Sorrow, for voice & piano by John Ireland
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Mark Stone ()
Period: Modern 
Written: 1918 
Venue:  The Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex 
Length: 2 Minutes 5 Secs. 
14.
Songs (2), for voice & piano (1917-1918) by John Ireland
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Mark Stone ()
Period: Modern 
Written: 1917-1918 
Venue:  The Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex 
Length: 5 Minutes 53 Secs. 
15.
Songs of a Great War, songs (2) for voice & piano by John Ireland
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Mark Stone ()
Period: Modern 
Venue:  The Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex 
Length: 1 Minutes 47 Secs. 
16.
A garrison churchyard, for voice & piano by John Ireland
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Mark Stone ()
Period: Modern 
Written: 1916 
Venue:  The Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex 
Length: 2 Minutes 16 Secs. 
17.
Love's window, for voice & piano by John Ireland
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Mark Stone ()
Period: Modern 
Written: 1911 
Venue:  The Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex 
Length: 2 Minutes 8 Secs. 
18.
Billee Bowline, for voice & piano by John Ireland
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Mark Stone ()
Period: Modern 
Written: 1911 
Venue:  The Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex 
Length: 2 Minutes 12 Secs. 
19.
When I grow old, for voice & piano by John Ireland
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Mark Stone ()
Period: Modern 
Venue:  The Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex 
Length: 1 Minutes 58 Secs. 
20.
Hillo, my bonny, for voice & piano by John Ireland
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Mark Stone ()
Period: Modern 
Written: 1911 
Venue:  The Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex 
Length: 1 Minutes 44 Secs. 
21.
Porto Rico, for voice & piano by John Ireland
Performer:  Sholto Kynoch (Piano), Mark Stone ()
Period: Modern 
Written: 1913 
Venue:  The Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex 
Length: 2 Minutes 11 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Sea Fever
The Bells of San Marie
The Vagabond
Hope the Hornblower
The East Riding
In Praise of Neptune (version for voice and piano)
Here's to the ships!
Song from o'er the hill
The Land of Lost Content: No. 1. The lent lily
The Land of Lost Content: No. 2. Ladslove
The Land of Lost Content: No. 3. Goal and wicket
The Land of Lost Content: No. 4. The vain desire
The Land of Lost Content: No. 5. The encounter
The Land of Lost Content: No. 6. Epilogue
The Heart's Desire
We'll to the Woods No More (text by A.E. Housman): No. 1. We'll to the Woods No More
We'll to the Woods No More (text by A.E. Housman): No. 2. In Boyhood
We'll to the Woods No More (text by A.E. Housman): No. 3. Spring will not wait
Hawthorn Time
Spring Sorrow
2 Songs to Poems by Rupert Brooke: No. 1. The soldier
2 Songs to Poems by Rupert Brooke: No. 2. Blow out, you bugles
2 Songs (1917-18): No. 1. Blind
2 Songs (1917-18): No. 2. The Cost
A Garrison Churchyard
Love's Window
Billee Bowline
When I grow old
Hillo, My Bonny
Porto Rico

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