Felicity Lott brings her delicacy and rich understanding to a collection of English song inspired by the idyllic Sussex countryside.
"A lovingly planned programme by Graham Johnson, beautifully sung by Dame Felicity" - Gramophone
The Englishness typified here is not derived fron one unique musical style; rather from each composer’s response to the texts. Graham Johnson groups together songs under headings Country Courtship ... To Music ... Love’s Philosophy ... Country Scenes ... Night & Dawn ... Children’s Corner ... Envoys on this charming - and occasionally surprising disc.
It includes songs by Quilter, Elgar, Parry, Ireland, Bax and Holst. The Elgar songs Speak Music and In Moonlight (included under the heading ’To Music’) remind us that the paradigm of Englishness Elgar cultivated was more to do with his association with ’Pomp and Circumstance’ than necessaily musical matters. As part of ’Country Scenes’, Bridge’s jolly Go Not, Happy Day gives nothing away about its year of publication, 1916, and the scars which led to later music of a more sombre tone.
Also included are a selection of Harol Fraser-Simpson’s songs based on verses for A A Milne;s The Hums of Pooh, and settings by Liza Lehmann - the Edwardian English operatic soprano - including Matilda from ’Four Cautionary Tales’ by Hillaire Belloc, a duet with both parts taken by Felicity Lott.
The album takes its title from Peter Warlock’s setting of another Belloc text - My Own Country.
Dame Felicity Lott lives in Sussex and was the very first artist to perform in the Music Room at Champs Hill. In 2005 she and Graham Johnson returned there to mark the 30th anniversary of her Wigmore debut with this programme (previously released on the ASV label). Champs Hill Records will also be releasing new recordings of further Elgar songs with Dame Felicity in the near future.
"...Lott is noted as a supreme recitalist and here she performs a most charming program...All delightful tunes delightfully performed."
Parsons - American Record Guide - March/April 2012