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My Own Country / Felicity Lott, Graham Johnson

Parry / Ireland / Elgar / Lott / Johnson / Warlock
Release Date: 09/27/2011 
Label:  Champs Hill Records   Catalog #: 24   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Charles Hubert ParryJohn IrelandSir Edward ElgarRoger Quilter,   ... 
Performer:  Felicity LottGraham Johnson
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Dame Felicity Lott has been an important singer for so long now that we tend to take her for granted. In the 30 years that she has been before the public, she has made a significant impact in opera, recitals, and concert work—and in music ranging from Mozart and Strauss through Britten and Poulenc to Johann Strauss and the lighter side of Offenbach. And she has done it all with a natural artistry that seems totally without guile or calculation, although of course enormous intelligence and thought is behind it. Her song repertoire in particular is enormous. She is one of the finest singers of French mélodies that we’ve heard in the past quarter century, despite her British background, and she has been equally successful in German Lied Read more and English songs. It is the latter that we have here—and what a treasure it is!

“Flott,” as she is known throughout the music world, has programmed this disc with uncommon intelligence. The songs are grouped into subject areas, such as “Love’s Philosophy,” “Country Courtship,” “To Music,” “Night and Day,” and so on. Her ability to dig deeply into the substance of a song, both its text and its music, pays huge dividends. She captures the hushed, haunted beauty of Peter Warlock’s The Night, and the cloud that hovers over it. On the other hand, the simple beauties and charm of Elgar’s Blue-Eyes Fairy are conveyed without a hint of artifice.

Lott’s voice may not soar and float as effortlessly as it did 15 years ago, but the occasional tendency toward thinness of tonal support is a very minor price to pay for the depth of insight, variety of color, suppleness of phrasing, and subtlety of inflection that mark everything here. With Graham Johnson as an insightful partner on the same wavelength as the singer, this is a deeply satisfying recording. The division of these English songs into categories is credited to Johnson—and it is more than a clever device. It gives some unity to each grouping.

The sound is a bit too reverberant for my taste, with a kind of hazy echo around the voice, but one gets used to it soon enough. There are useful notes that illuminate many of the songs, and complete texts are provided as well. A wonderful disc.

Henry Fogel, FANFARE Reviewing original release
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Works on This Recording

1. English Lyrics, Set 2: O mistress mine by Charles Hubert Parry
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Written: 1886-87 
2. Songs (2): The Trellis by John Ireland
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
3. English Lyrics, Set 10: My heart is like a singing bird by Charles Hubert Parry
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Written: pub 1918 
4. Songs (2), Op. 41: no 2, Speak, Music by Sir Edward Elgar
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; England 
5. In moonlight by Sir Edward Elgar
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; England 
6. Songs (6), Op. 25: no 5, Music, when Soft Voices Die by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; England 
7. Music and Moonlight by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
8. Pleading, Op. 48 by Sir Edward Elgar
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1908; England 
9. Song Cycle, Op. 59: no 6, Twilight by Sir Edward Elgar
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1909-1910; England 
10. English Lyrics, Set 6: no 6, Under the greenwood tree by Charles Hubert Parry
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
11. Strew no more red roses, H 109 by Frank Bridge
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; England 
12. Songs (3), Op. 3: no 1, Love's Philosophy by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905; England 
13. Belloc Songs (3): no 1, Ha'nacker mill by Peter Warlock
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; England 
14. Belloc Songs (3): no 3, My own country by Peter Warlock
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; England 
15. Five Songs for Soprano & Orchestra: I Have Twelve Oxen by John Ireland
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1918; England 
16. English Love Lyrics (5), Op. 24: no 3, Go, lovely rose by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922; England 
17. Go not, happy day, H 34 by Frank Bridge
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916; England 
18. Songs (3), Op. 3: no 2, Now sleeps the crimson petal by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; England 
19. Sleep by Peter Warlock
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922; England 
20. Belloc Songs (3): no 2, The night by Peter Warlock
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; England 
21. The White Peace by Arnold Bax
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; England 
22. Hymns (9) from the Rig Veda, Op. 24/H 90: no 1, Ushas by Gustav Holst
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907-1908; England 
23. Starlight Express, Op. 78: The Blue-Eyes Fairy by Sir Edward Elgar
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1915; England 
24. Missing by Harold Fraser-Simson
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
25. Politeness by Harold Fraser-Simson
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
26. Halfway down by Harold Fraser-Simson
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
27. Lines Written by a Bear of Very Little Brain by Harold Fraser-Simson
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
28. Four Cautionary Tales and a Moral: Henry King by Liza Lehmann
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1909; England 
29. Four Cautionary Tales and a Moral: Matilda by Liza Lehmann
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
30. When I am dead my dearest by John Ireland
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; England 
31. English Lyrics, Set 1: Good-night (wds. Shelley) by Charles Hubert Parry
Performer:  Felicity Lott (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Written: 1881-83 

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