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Songs of Love and Whimsy by Noel Coward & Flanders and Swann / Paul Sperry, tenor; Ian Hobson, piano

Album Summary

>Swann, Donald : Misalliance
>Swann, Donald : The Gnu Song
>Swann, Donald : The Sloth
>Swann, Donald : Ill Wind (after Mozart)
>Swann, Donald : Friendly Duet
>Swann, Donald : The Gas-Man Cometh
>Swann, Donald : Hippo Encore
>Swann, Donald : The Armadillo
>Swann, Donald : Madeira M'Dear
>Coward, Noël : Someday I'll Find You (used in the stage production of "Private Lives")
>Coward, Noël : A Bar on the Piccola Marina
>Coward, Noël : World Weary (used in Cochran's revue "This Year of Grace")
>Coward, Noël : Uncle Harry
>Coward, Noël : I Travel Alone
>Coward, Noël : That is the End of the News, song
>Coward, Noël : Bright Was the Day
>Coward, Noël : Nina (for the revue "Sigh No More")
>Coward, Noël : If love were all
>Coward, Noël : Mrs. Worthington
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Paul Sperry and Ian Hobson offer songs from the best British lyricists to follow Gilbert (Coward and Flanders) and to the two composers who could tailor light music to those lyrics with perfection (Coward and Swann).

Notes & Reviews:

American tenor Paul Sperry is best known as an advocate of new music, including that of some of the most daunting modernists like Stockhausen, Druckman, Wuorinen, and Rands, as well as traditionalists like Bernstein, Argento, Hagen, Paulus, and Musto. Another thread of his career has been devoted to (mostly unfamiliar) light music, and it's that interest that he takes up in this album, Songs of Love and Whimsy by Noël Coward & Flanders and Swann. It's a delightful collection that showcases Sperry's gift for comedy. The songs by the mid-20th century British duo Michael Flanders and Donald Swann are unabashedly fun and at least a little silly. Most of the selections by playwright and composer Noël Coward are similar in their irreverent tone, but are substantially more sophisticated both in musical content and nuanced wit. The best known, such as A Bar on the Piccola Marina and Mrs. Worthington, are riotously funny, full of both sly innuendo and outrageous goofiness, and Sperry's performances wonderfully bring out their humor. Coward was also a master of a romantic, gentle melancholy, exemplified in understated songs of longing, like I Travel Alone, If Love Were All, and Someday I'll Find You, which Sperry delivers with disarming artlessness. He doesn't attempt a British accent, but these examples of quintessentially British sensibilities still come across with their intent and expressiveness intact. He has a terrific partner in pianist Ian Hobson, who plays with full conviction and subtle attention to detail. The album should appeal to any fans of mid-20th British song. ~ Stephen Eddins



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Works Details

>Swann, Donald : Misalliance
  • Performers: Ian Hobson (Piano); Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 3 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas

>Swann, Donald : The Gnu Song
  • Performers: Ian Hobson (Piano); Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 3 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas

>Swann, Donald : The Sloth
  • Performers: Ian Hobson (Piano); Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 4 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas

>Swann, Donald : Ill Wind (after Mozart)
  • Performers: Ian Hobson (Piano); Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 3 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas

>Swann, Donald : Friendly Duet
  • Performers: Ian Hobson (Piano); Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 1 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas

>Swann, Donald : The Gas-Man Cometh
  • Performers: Ian Hobson (Piano); Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 2 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas

>Swann, Donald : Hippo Encore
  • Performers: Ian Hobson (Piano); Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 4 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas

>Swann, Donald : The Armadillo
  • Performers: Ian Hobson (Piano); Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 3 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas

>Swann, Donald : Madeira M'Dear
  • Performers: Ian Hobson (Piano); Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 4 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas

>Noël Coward (1899 - 1973) : Someday I'll Find You (used in the stage production of "Private Lives")
  • Performers: Ian Hobson (Piano); Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 2 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1930

>Noël Coward (1899 - 1973) : A Bar on the Piccola Marina
  • Performers: Ian Hobson (Piano); Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 4 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas

>Noël Coward (1899 - 1973) : World Weary (used in Cochran's revue "This Year of Grace")
  • Performers: Ian Hobson (Piano); Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 4 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas

>Noël Coward (1899 - 1973) : Uncle Harry
  • Performers: Ian Hobson (Piano); Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 4 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas

>Noël Coward (1899 - 1973) : I Travel Alone
  • Performers: Ian Hobson (Piano); Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 2 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1934

>Noël Coward (1899 - 1973) : That is the End of the News, song
  • Performers: Ian Hobson (Piano); Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 3 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas

>Noël Coward (1899 - 1973) : Bright Was the Day
  • Performers: Ian Hobson (Piano); Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 3 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas

>Noël Coward (1899 - 1973) : Nina (for the revue "Sigh No More")
  • Performers: Ian Hobson (Piano); Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 4 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas

>Noël Coward (1899 - 1973) : If love were all
  • Performers: Ian Hobson (Piano); Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 4 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas

>Noël Coward (1899 - 1973) : Mrs. Worthington
  • Performers: Ian Hobson (Piano); Paul Sperry
  • Running Time: 3 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Christmas