Graham Trew (baritone)
Roger Vignoles (piano)
Meridian E 77032
John Shirley-Quirk (baritone)
Martin Isepp (piano)
Saga EC 3336-2
"A Recital of English Songs"
(1996, CD )
[excludes 'The Lads in their Hundreds']
- When smoke stood up from Ludlow
- Farewell to barn and stack and tree
- Say, lad, have you things to do?
- The lads in their hundreds
Moeran's first settings
of Housman date from 1916,
a mid-summer respite from the war. Ludlow Town was composed in 1920
following the resumption of studies at the RCM with John
Moeran chose to set Housman's 'Word-music' in closely
corresponding terms; compare, for example, the contrasting subtleties
and simplicities of "When smoke stood up from Ludlow"
with the more grisly "Farewell to barn and stack and tree".
When the text demands a background of colour and suggestion,
the 26 year old composer can respond as effectively as any of his
contemporaries. If the harmonies of "Say, lad, have you things
to do?" betray more than a hint of his teacher, the final song
of the cycle points the way ahead. "The lads in their hundreds"
describes the bustle Ludlow Fair; fair days always excited Moeran
and usually brought out the 'Irishness' in him. The lively jig that
we hear would have its apotheosis in the wild Rondo of the Violin
Concerto twenty years later.
Notes by Barry Marsh
"the 26 year old composer can respond
as effectively as any of his contemporaries"