Date CD: February 13, 2012 | Nimbus Alliance
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With few exceptions, these pieces are not the actual English-language songs ("canzonettas") composed by Haydn during his London visits in the 1790s; even where those do appear, they are mostly in instrumental versions by an English student of Haydn's, Thomas Haigh. Instead, the songs are generally of two types.
The "songs as edited by William Shield," are German-language Haydn songs of the 1780s, fitted with new English texts by Shield or others.
The second type is stranger still, consisting of texts assigned to instrumental Haydn slow movements of suitably vocal shape. For these, executed by composer Samuel Arnold, there was no German text to follow, and texts by well-known English poets were used.
And the fact is that the composers involved knew what they were doing; the texts are generally more interesting than those of the English Canzonettas, and a few are hilarious, sexy romps.
The music makes sense, and the performances are delightful. Emma Kirkby may not have the voice she once did, but for these domestic products it is entirely idiomatic, and she is nicely matched by tenor Rogers Covey-Crump. The four period instruments, most of all the bouncy English-style square piano, would be worth the purchase price by themselves. Heartily recommended, and not only to historical-performance devotees.
1. Ballad (Duet): The fleeting Hours
2. Ballad: Morning
3. Song: Love in Return
4. Canzonetta: Sailor's Song
5. Rondo, No. 1
6. Song: Too late, Mother
7. Song: An old Story
8. Song: Contentment
9. Song: The manly Heart
10. Ballad: Youth and Beauty
11. Song: The Comforts of Inconstancy
13. Ballad: Werter's Sonnet
14. Song: The Knotting Song
15. Ballad: Peace and Content
16. Canzonetta: My Mother Bids Me Bind My Hair
17. Rondo, No. 3
18. Song: Molly Carr
19. Ballad: Evening
20. Song: Life Is a Dream
Derek McCulloch, proprietor
Emma Kirkby, soprano
Rogers Covey-Crump, tenor
Jenny Thomas, flute
Ian Gammie, guitar
Alastair Ross, square piano
I'm resurrecting here some of the works that "disappeared" from Avax or were "abandoned" from the original uploaders. There's not a real project behind it, I'm just cleaning up my HDs and following the tide. What I downloaded long ago is flowing back. All credits go to the first uploader. Enjoy...