Haydn: English and Scottish Songs

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LABELS: Opus 111 Invitation
WORKS: English and Scottish Songs
PERFORMER: Mhairi Lawson (soprano), Olga Tverskaya (fortepiano), Rachel Podger (violin), Oleg Kogan (cello)
Late in life, in the 1790s, Haydn visited London where he befriended a widow, Anne Hunter, who not only wrote poems for him but found British texts and folk songs she hoped would inspire him. Their collaboration produced more than 450 songs many of which prefigure the Romantic movement in their pastoralism and the colour of their [forte]piano parts. This delightful recital gathers 20 of them, and many, particularly the Welsh and Scottish songs (some with cello drone), will be familiar. The Scots soprano Mhairi Lawson has a sweet, shining, flexible voice and a winning, natural manner, and she is brightly accompanied by Olga Tverskaya at the fortepiano. A rare pleasure. Claire Wrathall