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Earth’s Call

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April Fredrick, soprano
Mark Bebbington, piano

The Songs of John Ireland form an important part of his output and are highly regarded by professional singers who appreciate the lyrical contours of his melodies, the sensitivity of his word settings and the wide variety of moods they encompass.

 

Ireland was born into a literary household  and throughout his life a deep love of poetry played an important part in his artistic development. His word settings include the poems of a variety of major poets (Christina Rossetti, Aldous Huxley, Mary Coleridge, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Emily Brontë et al).  Earth’s Call, which provides this disc with its title, is one of Ireland’s most striking songs and an evocative setting of a sonnet by Harold Monro, the proprietor of the Poetry Bookshop in London.

As a first-rate pianist himself and the composer of a large body of strikingly individual works for piano solo, (SOMM has recorded the Complete Piano Music in 3 Volumes with Mark Bebbington) including a popular concerto for the instrument, Ireland’s accompaniments to his songs provide highly effective counterparts to the vocal lines as well as having a distinctive character of their own.

Most previous recordings of Ireland’s songs have featured male voices — tenor and baritone — but this new collection contains several first recordings by a soprano. It also features a world première recording: Variations sur ‘Cadet Rousselle’ (sung in French), which Ireland wrote in 1918 in collaboration with three composer friends — Arnold Bax, Frank Bridge and Eugene Goossens — as a tribute to the music critic Edwin Evans, a staunch champion of both French and British music.

April Fredrick
Soprano April Fredrick grew up in rural Wisconsin and began her vocal studies  at Northwestern College n Minnesota where she studied English and Spanish in addition to music.  She has gained an MMus in Vocal Performance and a PhD. on the late songs of Ivor Gurney at the Royal Academy of Music, studying with Jane Highfield and Dominic Wheeler. She now lives permanently in the UK.

April  was a semi-finalist in both the Kathleen Ferrier Awards and Wigmore Hall International Song competition and featured in Young Songmakers Almanac concerts with Graham Johnson.  She has performed widely as a soloist in recital and oratorio venues in the UK. Recent performances include Briten’s Les Illulminations and Shostakovich’s Symphony 14 with the Orchestra of the Swan, Carl Rütti’s Requiem and performances of music for voice and violin with the contemporary ensemble Multiplicity, of which she is a founding member. Recent opera engagements include Medea in Teseo, Fido in Paul Bunyan and Zora in Gloria Coates’ chamber opera Stolen Identity.

Mark Bebbington
Mark Bebbington is fast gaining a reputation as one of today’s most strikingly individual British pianists. His discs of British music for SOMM have met with unanimous critical acclaim, notably his complete cycles of Piano Music by Frank Bridge and John Ireland, attracting seven consecutive sets of 5***** in BBC Music Magazine.

Over recent seasons Mark has toured extensively throughtout Central and Northern Europe, the Far East and North Africa and has performed at major UK venues with the London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, Royal Phlharmonic and London Mozart Players among others. As a recitalist, he makes regular appearances at major UK and International Festivals. Mark makes his Carnegie Hall début in October 2014 with Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra.

On This Recording

  1. Earth’s Call
  2. When I am Dead, my Dearest
  3. Mother and Child: No. 1. Newborn
  4. Mother and Child: No. 2. The only child
  5. Mother and Child: No. 3. Hope
  6. Mother and Child: No. 4. Skylark and nightingale
  7. Mother and Child: No. 5. The blind boy
  8. Mother and Child: No. 6. Baby
  9. Mother and Child: No. 7. Death-parting
  10. Mother and Child: No. 8. The garland
  11. 2 Songs: No. 1. The Trellis
  12. 2 Songs: No. 2. My true love hath my heart
  13. 3 Songs: No. 1. Love and friendship
  14. 3 Songs: No. 2. Friendship in misfortune
  15. 3 Songs: No. 3. The one hope
  16. The Sacred Flame
  17. 2 Songs: No. 1. Tryst (In Fountain Court)
  18. 2 Songs: No. 2. During Music
  19. Tutto e sciolto
  20. The Three Ravens: The Three Ravens (arr. for voice and piano)
  21. Songs Sacred and Profane: No. 1. The Advent
  22. Songs Sacred and Profane: No. 2. Hymn for a Child
  23. Songs Sacred and Profane: No. 3. My Fair
  24. Songs Sacred and Profane: No. 4. The Salley Gardens
  25. Songs Sacred and Profane: No. 5. The Soldier’s Return
  26. Songs Sacred and Profane: No. 6. The Scapegoat
  27. 3 Songs: No. 1. Summer Schemes
  28. 3 Songs: No. 2. Her Song
  29. 3 Songs: No. 3. Weathers
  30. Love is a Sickness Full of Woes
  31. Variations sur Cadet Rousselle
  32. J’ai douze boeufs