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LABELS: Collins
WORKS: Songs
PERFORMER: Janice Watson (soprano), Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzo-soprano), Toby Spence (tenor), Neal Davies (baritone), Steuart Bedford (piano)
Steuart Bedford, whose poised accompaniments are an attractive feature of this disc, also writes informatively about his grandmother’s music. She won most renown for her four-voices-with-piano cycle In a Persian Garden, settings from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1896). This collection makes a feature of songs for or about children – The Daisy Chain (1902) and Bird Songs (1906), as well as the Four Cautionary Tales and a Moral (to Hilaire Belloc’s well-known verses), while the nonsense songs to texts by Lewis Carroll and others demonstrate a notable and at time Sullivanesque sense of humour. Within their circumscribed limits these are real achievements, unfailingly skilled and well deserving of a revival. Fine performances from all concerned, exemplary sound. George Hall