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English Song Series 5 - Quilter: O Mistress Mine, To Daisies, Julia's Hair


Release Date: 09/23/2003 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8557116   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Roger Quilter
Performer:  Lisa MilneAnthony Rolfe JohnsonGraham JohnsonLouisa Fuller,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duke String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Naxos brings back this Collins Classics recital from 1998, and its reappearance should be welcomed by fans of English song who missed it the first time around. Roger Quilter (1877-1953) was not so much original as he was a highly skilled "romantic-style" melodist, an especially sensitive hearer and capable translator of English words and inflections to musical form. In other words, he wrote pleasingly melodic, often quite beautiful songs that successfully capture the spirit and meaning of the texts--and importantly, ride easily on the voice. As for his texts, Quilter went for the best--Shakespeare, Burns, Shelley, Tennyson, Herrick--inventing music that happily contrasts with more familiar versions by other composers of poems such Read more as It was a lover and his lass, O mistress mine, Music when soft voices die, and Go, lovely rose.


Quilter also was keenly adept at creating accompaniments that are intrinsically interesting yet always integral to the song's overall conception. And he was a fine arranger, as he demonstrates in the several folksong settings, including Ye banks and braes and Ca' the yowes, the latter's contemplative spirit and gentle flow making an excellent alternative to Britten's more assertive, declamatory treatment. The songs scored for piano and string quartet are particularly effective and should be heard more often in concert.


Although most of these songs lie comfortably in the middle of the English/lyrical/romantic style--neither self-consciously austere nor excessively emotive--a few lean decidedly toward the melodramatic, namely the closing duet, Love calls through the summer night (poem by Rodney Bennett), The maiden blush (from the song cycle To Julia), and Go, lovely rose. Both of the singers project a sincere fondness for the music that only occasionally spills over into affectation--mostly we hear two first-rate interpreters letting the music flow and the words tell their story.


Tenor Anthony Rolfe Johnson is the better of the two, his honey-like tone, fluid legato, and seemingly effortless expressive technique let you just focus on enjoying the songs rather than notice all the details that go into their performance. Soprano Lisa Milne, on the other hand, tends to call attention to herself when her voice becomes forced, squeezed, or even slightly shrieky at louder volume in her upper register. Normally, however, she's very pleasing to listen to and offers an ideal partner to Johnson in the duets. Accompanist Graham Johnson is one of the great masters of his art, and he's in perfect form here. At first, the voices seem too close, but the more you listen, this apparent problem goes away, and although the singers and piano remain very "present" throughout the recording, the sound retains a consistently appealing vibrancy that's easy on the ear while giving the music a real sense of immediacy.
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Shakespeare Songs (5), Op. 23: no 3, It was a lover and his lass by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Lisa Milne (Soprano), Anthony Rolfe Johnson (Tenor), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919-1921; England 
Language: English 
2.
Shakespeare Songs (5), Op. 23: no 4, Take, O take those lips away by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Graham Johnson (Piano), Anthony Rolfe Johnson (Tenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921; England 
Language: English 
3.
Shakespeare Songs (3), Op. 6: no 2, O mistress mine by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Graham Johnson (Piano), Anthony Rolfe Johnson (Tenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905; England 
Language: English 
4.
Shakespeare Songs (4), Op. 30: no 3, How should I your true.. by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Lisa Milne (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1933; England 
Language: English 
5.
Songs (2), Op. 32: Orpheus with his Lute by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Graham Johnson (Piano), Anthony Rolfe Johnson (Tenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; England 
Language: English 
6.
Hark! Hark! the lark by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Graham Johnson (Piano), Anthony Rolfe Johnson (Tenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; England 
Language: English 
7.
Arnold Book of Old Songs: Ca' the yowes to the knowes by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Graham Johnson (Piano), Lisa Milne (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1947; England 
Language: English 
8.
Arnold Book of Old Songs: Charlie is my darling by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Lisa Milne (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1947; England 
Language: English 
9.
Arnold Book of Old Songs: Ye banks and braes by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Graham Johnson (Piano), Lisa Milne (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1947; England 
Language: English 
10.
I Arise from Dreams of Thee, Op. 29 by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Graham Johnson (Piano), Anthony Rolfe Johnson (Tenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Language: English 
11.
Songs (6), Op. 25: no 5, Music, when Soft Voices Die by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Lisa Milne (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; England 
Language: English 
12.
Songs (3), Op. 3: no 1, Love's Philosophy by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Graham Johnson (Piano), Anthony Rolfe Johnson (Tenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905; England 
Language: English 
13.
Songs (4) of Sorrow, Op. 10: no 2, Passing Dreams by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Graham Johnson (Piano), Anthony Rolfe Johnson (Tenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; England 
Language: English 
14.
Songs (4), Op. 14: no 1, Autumn Evening by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Graham Johnson (Piano), Lisa Milne (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909-1910; England 
Language: English 
15.
Songs (6), Op. 25: no 3, An Old Carol by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Anthony Rolfe Johnson (Tenor), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; England 
Language: English 
16.
Pastoral Songs (3), Op. 22 by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Lisa Milne (Soprano), Louisa Fuller (Violin), Ivan McCready (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921; England 
Language: English 
17.
Spring is at the door, Op. 18 no 4 by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Graham Johnson (Piano), Lisa Milne (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1918; England 
Language: English 
18.
English Love Lyrics (5), Op. 24: no 3, Go, lovely rose by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Graham Johnson (Piano), Anthony Rolfe Johnson (Tenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922; England 
Language: English 
19.
Songs (4), Op. 14: no 3, A Last Year's Rose by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Lisa Milne (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910; England 
Language: English 
20.
Songs (3), Op. 15: no 2, Amaryllis at the fountain by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Lisa Milne (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; England 
Language: English 
21.
Jacobean Lyrics (5), Op. 28: no 3, I dare not ask a kiss by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Graham Johnson (Piano), Anthony Rolfe Johnson (Tenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1926; England 
Language: English 
22.
Songs (3), Op. 3: no 2, Now sleeps the crimson petal by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Graham Johnson (Piano), Lisa Milne (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; England 
Language: English 
23.
To Julia, Op. 8 by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Anthony Rolfe Johnson (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duke String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906; England 
Language: English 
24.
Love at the Inn: Love calls through the summer night by Roger Quilter
Performer:  Lisa Milne (Soprano), Graham Johnson (Piano), Anthony Rolfe Johnson (Tenor)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1940; England 
Language: English 

Sound Samples

5 Shakespeare Songs, Op. 23: It was a lover and his lass
5 Shakespeare Songs, Op. 23: Take, O take those lips away
3 Shakespeare Songs, Op. 6: O mistress mine
4 Shakespeare Songs, Op. 30: How should I your true love know
2 Shakespeare Songs, Op. 32: Orpheus with his lute
Hark! Hark! the lark
The Arnold Book of Old Songs: Ca' the yowes to the knowes
The Arnold Book of Old Songs: Charlie is my darling
The Arnold Book of Old Songs: Ye banks and braes
I arise from dreams of thee, Op. 29: I arise from dreams of thee
6 Songs, Op. 25: Music when soft voices die
3 Songs, Op. 3: Love's philosophy
Spring is at the door, Op. 18: Spring is at the door
Songs of Sorrow, Op. 10: Passing dreams
4 Songs, Op. 14: Autumn evening
6 Songs, Op. 25: An old carol
3 Pastoral Songs, Op. 22: i - I will go with my father a-ploughing
3 Pastoral Songs, Op. 22: ii - Cherry valley
3 Pastoral Songs, Op. 22: iii - I wish and I wish
5 English Love Lyrics, Op. 24: Go, lovely rose
4 Songs, Op. 14: A last year's rose
3 Songs, Op. 15: Amaryllis at the fountain
5 Jacobean Lyrics, Op. 28: I dare not ask a kiss
3 Songs, Op. 3: Now sleeps the crimson petal
To Julia, Op. 8: Prelude
To Julia, Op. 8: i - The bracelet
To Julia, Op. 8: ii - The maiden blush
To Julia, Op. 8: iii - To daisies
To Julia, Op. 8: iv - The night piece
To Julia, Op. 8: v - Julia's hair
To Julia, Op. 8: Interlude
To Julia, Op. 8: vi - Cherry ripe
Love calls through the summer night

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