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The Gift of Music, Keswick House, Branthwaite Road, Workington, Cumbria, CA14 4ED, United Kingdom.
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Forever England Music for a green and pleasant landFrom the Lincolnshire poacher to the famous floral dance, this album is a celebration of the English countryside. Folksy and nostalgic, it provides a gazetteer of favourite English places: those quiet corners where life, even in today's hectic world, has seemed to stand still.1 The floral dance Peter Dawson2 Green hills o'Somerset Joan Hammond3 Blow the wind southerly Kathleen Ferrier4 Halcyon Days - Elizabeth Tudor from The Three Elizabeths SuiteEric CoatesNew Symphony Orchestra conducted by Eric Coates5 Greensleeves Sharon Lindo and Matthew Spring6 Hall and Tow/Shropshire Lass The Amber Quartet7 Dance to your daddy Matthew Spring8 Portsmouth/Bonny Kate John Spiers and Jon Boden9 John Barleycorn The Amber Quartet10 The Lincolnshire poacher
. Dr Faustus11 Blowzabella/Lilibulero Sharon Lindo and Matthew Spring12 Drink Old England Dry Ian Giles and Jon Spiers 13 Morris Tunes Dragonsfire14 The Whitby Lad Graham Metcalfe and Ian Giles15 The Banks of Forth Sara Stowe and Martin Souter16 The Keel row Kathleen Ferrier17 The Fishermen of England Peter Dawson18 March of the Bowmen from Robin Hood Suite Frederic Curzon The Queen's Hall Light Orchestra conducted by Charles WilliamsCCL CDG1108P & C 2004 Classical Communications LtdImage: Clive Boursnell/Country Life Picture LibraryProgramme notes by Martin MoritzMade in Great BritainWith this collection, we unfurl a splendid tapestry of British songs and music to reveal a rich tradition and its colourful textures. It spans the centuries, from the Restoration to the last century, and conjures up the sounds and colours of varied landscapes, from the heart of England to its maritime traditions.What better way to begin than with a song that celebrates one of the oldest surviving customs in England, with origins that are believed to be in pagan times. The Floral Dance, written by Katie Moss in 1911, is a touching evocation of a charming event that takes place annually in Helston, that 'quaint old Cornish town'. We have Peter Dawson singing it in his famous recording. Remaining in the west, the beauty of Green Hills o'Somerset is so persuasively portrayed in Eric Coate's ballad sung by Joan Hammond.To Eric Coates again but this time with a work that commemorates The Three Elizabeths, namely Elizabeth the First, the late Queen Mother and our present Queen. Halcyon Days displays the zest and merriment of the First Elizabethan age and will be familiar to millions of television viewers as the music used in the dramatization of 'The Forsyte Saga' in the late 1960s.It has been suggested that King Henry V111, the father of Elizabeth 1, actually wrote Greensleeves. It is probably the best-known of all English folk songs and its melody was later used for the carol What Child Is This by William Chatterton Dix.The poignant voice of Kathleen Ferrier is so quintessentially English. Blow The Wind Southerly, which she has made so uniquely hers, is an air from the North of England with words from a fragment in The Bishoprick Garland of 1834. The Newcastle Song Book, also referred to as The Tyne-Side Songster, is the source for another favourite sung by Kathleen Ferrier, The Keel Row.One of the best-loved of all Northumbrian folk songs is Dance To Your Daddy which is also known as 'When the Boat Comes In' and under this guise it became the title of a TV series in the 1970s. The song concerns the fisherman/father's return from the sea and is heavily laced with references to alcohol, so heavily, in fact, that one gets the impression that the whole family is incapable! Whilst on the subject of the 'demon drink', the reason why John Barleycorn remains one of the best known and most popular of all ballads is that is actually about that other activity which most commonly accompanies the singing of traditional songs - drinking! To complete this trio of drinking songs, we have a song that was written around the time that Napoleon threatened to invade England, circa 1800, Drink Old England Dry.We end our programme with a salute to that legendary hero, Robin Hood. Frederic Curzon (1899-1973) originally achieved fame as an organist but he is now remembered as a composer of many fine, light orchestral pieces. In 1937, he wrote his 'Robin Hood' suite and from it we have taken his rousing March Of The Bowmen in a recording which is conducted by another great name from British light music, Charles Williams.
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