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Folk Music of the British Isles arranged by Geoffrey Webber, Toby Young, Robert Pearsall, Gustav Holst, Thomas Morley, Vaughan Williams, Patrick Hadley / Christopher Monks, Armonico Consort

Album Summary

>Welsh Traditional : Lisa lân
>Stanford, Charles Villiers : The Blue Bird, Op. 119/3 (from 8 Part Songs)
>Traditional, Irish : The Banks of My Own Lovely Lee
>Traditional, Irish : She Moved through the Fair, folk song
>Pearsall, Robert Lucas : Lay a Garland, for 8 voices
>Webber, Geoffrey : Sweet Kitty, folk song setting for chorus
>Welsh Traditional : Suo Gân (Lullaby), song
>Traditional, British Isles : I Love My Love, folk song
>Webber, Geoffrey : Dadl Dau, folk song setting for chorus
>Morley, Thomas [Composer] : Now is the month of maying, madrigal for 5 voices
>Traditional : White Rose
>Traditional, English : Greensleeves, folk song
>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Loch Lomond, folk song for baritone & male chorus
>Hadley, Patrick : O Love, 'Tis a Calm Starry Night, folk song setting for chorus
>Traditional, English : The Wraggle Taggle Gypsies, O!, folk song
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

This new release is a celebration of the music of the British Isles. Spanning the breadth and width of the Isles, this is some of the most beautiful folk music ever written. The arrangements by Geoffrey Webber and Toby Young are mesmerizing. Performing these songs is the Armonico Consort, directed by Christopher Monks.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: St Mark's Church, Leamington Spa, UK (06/19/2013/06/20/2013).

The booklet notes to the CD release of this album by the Armonico Consort not only state the project's aims concisely, but are also entertaining enough to merit quoting at length: "I first began my fascination with folk melody whilst a music scholar at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where the choir would often sing arrangements to entertain the hordes of inebriated dons after feasts," writes director Christopher Monks. "These arrangements -- often brilliant, eye opening, and sometimes little gems of genius -- were written by my director of studies, Dr. Geoffrey Webber. Quite simply, he took on the work of Vaughan Williams and gave it a new harmonic language inspired by music from the late 20th century." Webber is the author of the largest number of folk song arrangements here (all are a cappella); others come from various composers including Monks himself. The title track is elegant, but a better place to start sampling to get a feel for the tonality of the music is perhaps Sweet Kitty (track 6,), another Webber arrangement. Several pieces, by Stanford, Thomas Morley, and Robert Pearsall, are not folk songs, but are familiar enough to be such, and they function nicely as little touchstones in a program that is far from the set of folk favorites you might imagine. Monks and his ten-voice Armonico Consort achieve a precise sound that brings out the small details that make these arrangements interesting. A rather specialized release, perhaps one for enthusiasts who love the tradition of British choral singing, but one that may also be recommended to all. ~ James Manheim



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Works Details

>Welsh Traditional : Lisa lân
  • Performers: Eloise Irving; Matthew Vine (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Christopher Monks
  • Ensemble: Armonico Consort
  • Running Time: 2 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical

>Stanford, Charles Villiers : The Blue Bird, Op. 119/3 (from 8 Part Songs)
  • Performer: Philippa Murray
  • Conductor: Christopher Monks
  • Ensemble: Armonico Consort
  • Running Time: 3 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Choral

>Traditional, Irish : The Banks of My Own Lovely Lee
  • Performers: Philippa Murray; Matthew Vine (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Christopher Monks
  • Ensemble: Armonico Consort
  • Running Time: 5 min. 50 sec.

>Traditional, Irish : She Moved through the Fair, folk song
  • Performer: Matthew Vine (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Christopher Monks
  • Ensemble: Armonico Consort
  • Running Time: 3 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: by 1700

>Pearsall, Robert Lucas : Lay a Garland, for 8 voices
  • Conductor: Christopher Monks
  • Ensemble: Armonico Consort
  • Running Time: 4 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: circa 1840

>Webber, Geoffrey : Sweet Kitty, folk song setting for chorus
  • Performers: Philippa Murray; Matthew Vine (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Christopher Monks
  • Ensemble: Armonico Consort
  • Running Time: 3 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Welsh Traditional : Suo Gân (Lullaby), song
  • Performers: Eloise Irving; Guy Simcock (Voice)
  • Conductor: Christopher Monks
  • Ensemble: Armonico Consort
  • Running Time: 3 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical

>Traditional, British Isles : I Love My Love, folk song
  • Conductor: Christopher Monks
  • Ensemble: Armonico Consort
  • Running Time: 4 min. 29 sec.
  • Form: Vocal

>Webber, Geoffrey : Dadl Dau, folk song setting for chorus
  • Conductor: Christopher Monks
  • Ensemble: Armonico Consort
  • Running Time: 1 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Morley, Thomas [Composer] : Now is the month of maying, madrigal for 5 voices
  • Conductor: Christopher Monks
  • Ensemble: Armonico Consort
  • Notes: Composition written: By 1595.
  • Running Time: 2 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: by 1595

>Traditional : White Rose
  • Conductor: Christopher Monks
  • Ensemble: Armonico Consort
  • Running Time: 5 min. 10 sec.

>Traditional, English : Greensleeves, folk song
  • Performers: Francis Brett (Bass); Philippa Murray
  • Conductor: Christopher Monks
  • Ensemble: Armonico Consort
  • Notes: Composition written: 1600.
  • Running Time: 3 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1600

>Vaughan Williams, Ralph : Loch Lomond, folk song for baritone & male chorus
  • Performer: Matthew Vine (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Christopher Monks
  • Ensemble: Armonico Consort
  • Running Time: 3 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1921

>Hadley, Patrick : O Love, 'Tis a Calm Starry Night, folk song setting for chorus
  • Conductor: Christopher Monks
  • Ensemble: Armonico Consort
  • Running Time: 2 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Traditional, English : The Wraggle Taggle Gypsies, O!, folk song
  • Conductor: Christopher Monks
  • Ensemble: Armonico Consort
  • Running Time: 2 min. 3 sec.