Maconchy & Vaughan Williams: Songs, Volume 1 - RES10299

Maconchy & Vaughan Williams: Songs, Volume 1

Regular price £12.99
Total playing time [67:44]

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James Geer (tenor)
Ronald Woodley (piano)

The first of two releases to mark the 150th anniversary of Ralph Vaughan Williams’s birth presents two of his major song collections, while bringing to light a substantial number of songs by the composer’s student Elizabeth Maconchy. Her works here are almost all unpublished and virtually unknown since their original first performances from manuscript, and span several decades of the composer’s career from the time of her studies with Vaughan Williams in the mid-1920s though to her committed espousal of the British modernist aesthetic by the 1960s and 70s.

The songs are performed by tenor James Geer and pianist Ronald Woodley in this continuation of their long-standing partnership.

Album Booklet (PDF)


Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)
Songs of Travel
1. The Vagabond
2. Let Beauty Awake
3. The Roadside Fire
4. Youth and Love
5. In Dreams
6. The Infinite Shining Heavens
7. Whither Must I Wander?
8. Bright is the Ring of Words
9. I Have Trod the Upward and
the Downward Slope

Elizabeth Maconchy (1907–94)
10. Love Stood At My Door

11. The Bee-Sting

12. The Woodspurge

13. The Cloths of Heaven

14. The Thrush

15. Impetuous Heart, Be Still

Ralph Vaughan Williams
Four Poems by Fredegond Shove
16. Motion and Stillness
17. Four Nights
18. The New Ghost
19. The Water Mill

Elizabeth Maconchy
20. Faustus

‘[...] performance brimming with good humour and intelligence’

- MusicWeb International

'Experienced partners in exploring 20th-century British repertoire, James Geer and Ronald Woodley specialise in honesty and clarity [...]. [There's] something valuable in Geer's agile phrasing and direct attack.'
BBC Music Magazine

'Vaughan Williams’s cycle 'Songs of Travel' is given new buoyancy when sung by a tenor instead of the more usual baritone. Maconchy’s songs, mostly unpublished and some recovered from manuscripts, span 70 years, moving from simple lyric to modernist invention. The dramatic scene 'Faustus' (1971) shows Maconchy at the height of her game, giving equal authority to voice and piano, performed with persuasive urgency by Geer and Woodley. This is the first of two discs. I look forward to the next.'
The Observer

'Tenor James Geer & pianist Ronald Woodley prove splendidly alert and sympathetic exponents of all this material'

'A superb disc, beautifully sung and recorded. Maconchy's Faustus is simply unforgettable.'
Classical Explorer

'Two very different styles sit together her, but both develop the British song tradition. I love the concept of this release and hope that, as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of RVW’s birth those already drawn to his music may discover something of the beauty of Maconchy’s settings and that her music will become more widely known.'
Lark Reviews

© 2022 Resonus Limited
Ⓟ 2022 Resonus Limited
Catalogue No. RES10299
Producer, engineer & editor: Andrew Hallifax
Executive producer: Adam Binks
EAN: 5060262793275
Cover image: Herding cows before a farmstead by Harold Charles Francis Harvey (1874–1941)
Release date: 4 March 2022