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Carey Blyton: The Folksong Arrangements

Audio Samples

  1. A Newfoundland Posy, Op. 72: The Bonny Banks of Virgie-O $0.99 on iTunes
  2. A Newfoundland Posy, Op. 72: The Blooming Bright Star of Belle Isle / Anti-Confederation Song / The Badger Drive $0.99 on iTunes
  3. A Newfoundland Posy, Op. 72: Anti-Confederation / Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor $0.99 on iTunes
  4. Six Regional Canadian Folk Songs, Op. 39: I. Donkey Riding $0.99 on iTunes
  5. Six Regional Canadian Folk Songs, Op. 39: II. Auction Block $0.99 on iTunes
  6. Six Regional Canadian Folk Songs, Op. 39: III. Pull On the Oars $0.99 on iTunes
  7. Six Regional Canadian Folk Songs, Op. 39: IV. An Eskimo Lullaby $0.99 on iTunes
  8. Six Regional Canadian Folk Songs, Op. 39: V. Kelligrews Soiree $0.99 on iTunes
  9. Three Canadian Carols, Op. 44: II. The Cherry-Tree Carol $0.99 on iTunes
  10. Three Canadian Carols, Op. 44: III. The Huron Carol $0.99 on iTunes
  11. Three Welsh Folk Songs: I. Lullaby $0.99 on iTunes
  12. Three Welsh Folk Songs: II. The Plea of the Miller $0.99 on iTunes
  13. Three Welsh Folk Songs: III. David of the White Rock $0.99 on iTunes
  14. A Lullaby (From "Two Sacred Songs, Op. 24" for SATB Unaccompanied) $0.99 on iTunes
  15. Robin Redbreast $0.99 on iTunes
  16. Blue Christmas $0.99 on iTunes
  17. Pianoman $0.99 on iTunes
  18. The Maiden Deceived - A British Folk Song Cycle, Op. 84: Early One Morning / Bobby Shafto $0.99 on iTunes
  19. The Maiden Deceived - A British Folk Song Cycle, Op. 84: O, Waly, Waly / Early One Morning / What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor? $0.99 on iTunes
  20. The Maiden Deceived - A British Folk Song Cycle, Op. 84: There Is a Tavern in Town $0.99 on iTunes

Album Summary

>Blyton, Carey : A Newfoundland Posy, for violin, clarinet & piano, Op. 72
>Blyton, Carey : Regional Canadian Folk Songs (6), for voice & piano, Op. 39
>Blyton, Carey : Canadian Carols (3), for voice, clarinet & piano, Op. 44
>Blyton, Carey : Welsh Folk Songs (3), for voice & harp, Op. 36
>Blyton, Carey : A Lullaby, for chorus & piano
>Blyton, Carey : Robin Readbreast, for voice & piano
>Blyton, Carey : Blue Christmas, for voice & piano
>Blyton, Carey : Pianoman, for voice & piano
>Blyton, Carey : The Maiden Deceived, song cycle for voice, clarinet, horn & piano, Op. 84
Performers Composer
Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Porcupine Studios (08/12/1996-05/03/1997).

British composer Carey Blyton (1932-2002), a nephew of author Enid Blyton, wrote music for several television series, including Doctor Who. These little treatments of folk songs -- the word "arrangements" on the title does not quite cover his contributions -- are all but unknown, at least outside Britain, but they're very nice finds, with several items being unlike anything else in repertory of this type. If you're expecting a disc of straightforward settings of British (and Welsh and Canadian, the largest single group) folk songs, this isn't it; each item on the program is different. Most of the selections are vocal, but perhaps the most interesting piece is the opening A Newfoundland Posy, Op. 72, for violin, clarinet, and piano. The structure of this work is unique. It is in six movements, with each movement consisting of a medley of from one to three tunes. One tune, the "Anti-Confederation Song" (Newfoundland became part of Canada only in 1949), occurs three times in different guises and serves as a kind of motif. ("The Squid Jiggin' Ground" is the same song known to country music fans through its recording by Hank Snow.) Blyton's treatments of the tune range from straightforward to impressionistic, with the spaces between these modulated to expressive effect. The work is a delightful addition to the trio repertory. The Six Regional Canadian Folk Songs, Op. 39, are more conventional, but include an interesting variety of pieces; "Auction Block," track 8, is a song in the African-American spiritual idiom but was clearly composed by a slave who had made it to southwestern Ontario. The Three Canadian Carols are all in English despite the fact that two of them were originally in other languages (French and Huron or Wyandot, in the case of the famed "Huron Carol," track 15), but the Three Welsh Folk Songs, Op. 36, are in Welsh; the tracklist does not make this clear, but English translations are provided for the Welsh songs. The rest of the album presents some British songs ("There Is a Tavern in the Town," indubitably British and quite sad, will interest those who know the tune in its boisterous polka incarnations), as well as some Blyton originals. Blue Christmas, track 21, is not the Elvis Presley song but a serious piece that uses hints of blues in the service of a story of poverty during the Christmas season. Singaporean soprano Soo-Bee Lee is to be commended for her grasp of the subtle ways in which this song uses the blues idiom, and both she and baritone Robert Ivan Foster, who has championed Blyton's music, plainly bring enthusiasm to the project, which will do the same for its listeners.~James Manheim



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Works Details

>Blyton, Carey : A Newfoundland Posy, for violin, clarinet & piano, Op. 72
  • Performers: Carey Blyton (Violin); David Campbell (Clarinet); Raphael Terroni (Piano); John Truster (Violin)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas

>Blyton, Carey : Regional Canadian Folk Songs (6), for voice & piano, Op. 39
  • Performers: Carey Blyton (Piano); Robert Foster (Piano); Nina Walker (Piano)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1963

>Blyton, Carey : Canadian Carols (3), for voice, clarinet & piano, Op. 44
  • Performers: Carey Blyton (Clarinet); Robert Foster (Clarinet); Jonathan Steward (Clarinet); Nina Walker (Piano)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1964

>Blyton, Carey : Welsh Folk Songs (3), for voice & harp, Op. 36
  • Performers: Carey Blyton (Harp); Robert Foster (Harp); Tryphena Partridge (Harp)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1963

>Blyton, Carey : A Lullaby, for chorus & piano
  • Performers: Carey Blyton (Piano); Soo-Bee Lee (Piano); Raphael Terroni (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Blyton, Carey : Robin Readbreast, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Carey Blyton (Piano); Soo-Bee Lee (Piano); Raphael Terroni (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Blyton, Carey : Blue Christmas, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Carey Blyton (Piano); Soo-Bee Lee (Piano); Raphael Terroni (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas

>Blyton, Carey : Pianoman, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Carey Blyton (Piano); Soo-Bee Lee (Piano); Raphael Terroni (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Blyton, Carey : The Maiden Deceived, song cycle for voice, clarinet, horn & piano, Op. 84
  • Performers: Carey Blyton (Piano); David Campbell (Clarinet); Soo-Bee Lee (Piano); Anthony Randall (Horn); Raphael Terroni (Piano)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Vocal