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4.3 out of 5 stars
20
4.3 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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This is a marvellous collection. The loveliest songs, the loveliest voices (Janet Baker, Thomas Allen and Ians Partridge and Bostridge are particular standouts), sleeve-notes by John Steane; what more could you ask? The songs range from Purcell and Dowland to RVW and Britten's folk song arrangements. Every track is a delight, but Robert Lloyd's "Drake's Drum", Robert Tear's "Tom Bowling", Flanders and Swann's uproarious "Hippopotamus Song" and the contributions from that most communicative of singers, the recently departed Ian Wallace, gave me special pleasure. Unalloyed joy from start to finish!
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on 25 October 2009
The sheer beauty of some of the songs cannot be expressed in words. The samples may help you get an idea of what's in store but my appreciation of this collection grows with repeated listening.
I would have smirked, and dismissed these songs as sentimental rubbish at one time. I've opened my ears and mind since.
Great singers and their accompanists take you on a journey through sadness, happiness, cynicism, lasciviousness, drum-beating patriotism - and that's just for starters.
Hearing Ian Bostridge sing the sublime "Silent Noon" or Jonathon Lemalu belting out "Rollicum-rorum" is worth paying seven quid for.
Even the pot-boiler "Come into the garden,Maud" ( black bats and all ) is given a rousing reading by Robert Tear.
Oh, just buy it.
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on 22 July 2015
A bit of a mix and match, but very nice over all. My favourite is 'Devonshire cream and Cider' sung by Frederick Harvey with such breezy gusto and joy of living that it almost makes me cry. There are also several excellent songs from Vaughan Williams, Finzi, Butterworth and Elgar. Some of the recording were made half a century ago but sound absolutely pristine. A nice collection.
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on 26 October 2009
I enjoyed the variety of types of songs and the different singers represented on the two CDs. It was very representative of the English Art Song form which presents quite a challenge to the singer and pianist in the same way that German Lieder does. The artists here answered the challenge quite admirably.
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Understated, underrated.

Understated is one thing, underrated is another.

In fact, it's a masterly selection. Why doesn't it have more reviews? Why isn't it top of the pops? Oh, I see. Not good Enough for the Great British Public. Silly of me not to realise.

A rich range, containing Home and Away, Sea and Empire, war and love, history. Should be a compulsory part of the National Curriculum. Bet there's plenty of stuff they could ditch that covers the same ground [or less] much more boringly.

The music shows the man: one who knew his country and loved it.

I didn't know the English had so many good songs. I knew they had a few, but thought the Celts were the only ones in these islands to have more than their fair share of really good songs.

I bet he was a Southerner though. Excellent though the selection is, for me, for it to excel excellent [and do the North justice] it would have a few like Ilkley Moor, the Oak and the Ash, and the Blaydon Races.

Stiil, not bad for a Southron!
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on 4 January 2013
An excellent selection of traditional songs and very well performed. Many songs I did not know but the one that drew me to buy the disc was 'In Summertime on Bredon' or as it is more properly known, 'Bredon Hill'. This song I learned at school in the late 1940's and I have never seen it recorded anywhere else.
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on 29 August 2013
Wide ranging collection of both English song and singers covering 4 or 5 decades, from John Shirley-Quirk to Iain Bostridge. Five CD's and v.good value for £12.
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on 10 May 2010
This set is reasonable value for money. It is just a bit variable in recording quality for me. Some tracks sound as if they were recorded in a bathroom and some seem to lack bass. The collection is a bit short on folk-derived songs for an English songbook.
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on 9 April 2016
old fashioned it might well be but reminds me of yesteryear when good taste mattered
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on 12 February 2015
Purchased this for my sister she was delighted with it thanks.
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