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The Complete C.W. Orr Songbook, Vol. 1

The Complete C.W. Orr Songbook, Vol. 1

1 Jan 2013

£7.49 (VAT included if applicable)

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan 2013
  • Label: Stone Records
  • Copyright: (C) 2013 Stone Records
  • Total Length: 1:01:56
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00B4PHAFS
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. H. Smith on 5 Jun 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Charles Wilfrid Orr (1893-1976) was one of Britain's most underrated song composers. There are several reasons for this. First, as a man of private means, he did not need to compose for a living, and so was not very prolific (around 40 works in total). Secondly, his output was perhaps blighted by a fairly narrow range. His songs, certainly, are more for the connoisseur, and are rarely of immedaite melodic appeal. Having said that, he was highly-regarded by his fellow composers, and much admired by both Delius and Warlock when he submitted songs for their scrutiny. The latter, in particular, was very generous in copying out Orr's songs and submitting them for publication. When Warlock died in 1930, Orr lost a good friend and mentor.

This Stone recording is the first volume in a projected two-volume set of the complete songs. Orr's claim to fame is that he set more Housman poems than any other composer. Two-thirds of the songs on this present disc are Housman settings. The "Seven Songs from 'A Shropshire Lad'" comprise a collection rather than a cycle, as they were composed at various times between 1927-31 and then grouped together. Orr's approach to Housman is not particularly bucolic. While the composers of the folksong school, such as Vaughan Williams, Butterworth and Moeran, latch on to the rural setting underlying the personal interest, either in the landscape painting of the accompaniment (RVW), or in its folklike simplicity (Butterworth), Orr focuses on the personal element itself - on the emotional responses of the people involved. Not that this makes for dry, academic music. Orr knows how to respond to the words of each individual poem when he wants to.
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