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Grainger and Grieg



Irish tune from County Derry; Dollar and a half a day; Shenandoah; Stormy; The gypsy's wedding day; Brigg Fair; Mo nighean dubh; O mistress mine; Soldier, soldier; Mary Thompson; Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon; Dalvisa; Australian up-country song; Near Woodstock Town; The Sussex mummers' Christmas carol; A song of Varmeland; At twilight



Four Psalms, Op 74; Ave, maris stella


David Wilson-Johnson - baritone

Paul Agnew - tenor

Polyphony / cond Stephen Layton


Hyperion Helios CDH55236 – 1994 – 75 mins

Although this reissue of Choral Music appears at first to be unashamedly easy listening, that description belies the complexity of musical invention contained in this collection of folk-melody settings.


Grainger is perhaps best known for his piano arrangements of folk songs, but these choral settings are of equal stature. They are drawn from a wide range of sources, from throughout the British Isles , America , Australia and Sweden , and demonstrate his uncanny ability to capture the spirit of each region.


Despite the disparity in their ages, the two composers became firm friends and Grieg's Psalms are sung in Grainger's translation. These pieces form the “meat in the sandwich”, being both more solemn and more substantive than remainder of the recital.


Polyphony amply demonstrate their virtuosity, the programme is agreeably varied and good measure at 75 minutes.



Serena Fenwick