CONNOLLY, SARAH My True Love Hath My Heart. English Songs. Malcolm Martineau. Chandos

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Connolly Sarah My True Love English Songs Malcolm Martineau Chandos

MY TRUE LOVE HATH MY HEART English Songs

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976): O Waly Waly / A Corpus Christi Carol / Early One Morning / How Sweet the Answer

Ivor Gurney (1890-1937): Sleep / By a Bierside

Peter Warlock (1894-1930): The First Mercy

John Ireland (1879-1962): Her Song / Tryst / My True Love Hath My Heart

Herbert Howells (1892-1983): Lost Love / King David / Gavotte / Come Sing and Dance

Michael Head (1900-1976): Cotswold Love / Foxgloves

Sir Richard Rodney Bennett (b. 1936): A History of the Thé Dansant

Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano)

Malcolm Martineau (piano)

Sarah Connolly received excellent reviews for her recital performance of ‘English Songs’ on 11 April 2011 at the Alice Tully Hall in New York. The New York Times wrote: ‘Ms Connolly’s voice was strong and steady through its range, velvety, but with a soft, subtle graininess that gave weight and presence to even her most ethereal floated notes.’

Here the mezzo-soprano, accompanied by Malcolm Martineau on piano, performs four arrangements by Benjamin Britten: three folk songs and one song from an early choral work. These complement the recent Britten CD on Chandos, on which Connolly performs the cantata Phaedra as well as A Charm of Lullabies (CHAN 10671).

Next come eleven songs from the 1920s, which is considered the golden decade for English art songs. Among the highlights are By a Bierside, Ivor Gurney’s stark reflection on death, written in the World War I trenches, and Herbert Howells’s King David which has long been considered a masterpiece. Howells himself said: ‘I am prouder to have written King David than almost anything else of mine.’

The most recent contribution to this disc of English Songs is the surreally retro A History of the Thé Dansant by Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, which was published in 1995.

Chandos CHAN10691

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