The Complete Songs
Three piano pieces
Martin Oxenham baritone
Jonathan Beatty piano
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' ‘The performances are uniformly excellent. Martin Oxenham’s creamy baritone never shows any sense of strain and he has an unfailingly intelligent feeling for phrasing and vocal line. He is beautifully accompanied by Jonathan Beatty. Lloyd's note constitutes an essential introduction to these songs and the booklet also includes complete texts. The recording itself is natural and very well balanced. The piano is particularly well caught, and the overall effect is of listening to an intimate recital. I would recommend this rewarding disc to anyone with an interest in English song - it’s given me hours of pleasure.'
International Record Review February 2015
‘Solidly located in the English pastoral tradition, these songs by Balfour Gardiner are always personable' BBC Music January 2015
'A most welcome addition to the discography... Oxenham's interpretations are sympathetic and his diction clear.'
Gramophone February 2015
The complete songs of Henry Balfour Gardiner (1877–1950) represents a major contribution to the discography of English song recordings.
Balfour Gardiner is well-known to lovers of English church music as the composer of Evening Hymn (Te lucis ante terminum). Very little of his other music is known, and even less recorded.
In what is the first recording of the complete Balfour Gardiner songs, baritone Martin Oxenham is joined by pianist Jonathan Beatty, who also contributes three solo piano items. The scores of the unpublished works were made available for the recording by kind permission of Balfour Gardiner’s great-nephew, Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
These beautifully-crafted miniatures will be a revelation to enthusiasts of English song.
All first recordings, except track 18
As a versatile and busy oratorio soloist, Martin Oxenham has performed at most of the major concert venues in the UK, as well as at festivals in Britain and abroad, appearing with with the City of London Sinfonia, RPO, London Mozart Players, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and the Hanover Band. TV appearances include in the highly acclaimed Jonathan Miller staging of Bach's St Matthew Passion and in the People's Passion with Jessye Norman, shown on BBC1. He has previously recorded two CDs of English song for the Meridian label which have received critical acclaim.
The Stranger’s (or Hangman’s) Song (1903) 1:19
When I was one-and-twenty (1908) 1:32
The Wanderer’s Evensong (1908) 2:38
Roadways (1908) 2:34
The Golden Vanity (1907) 3:27
Music, when soft voices die (1897 rev 1908) 1:44
The Recruit (1906) 3:47
Prelude De Profundis (piano solo) (1905) 5:38
Early Unpublished Songs
The Banks of Calm Bendemeer (1893) 3:27
Ah, sweet those eyes (1895) 3:23
How sweet I roam’d from field to field (1895) 2:15
Dirge ‘Rough wind that moanest loud’ (1897) 0:39
Song ‘Lightly we met in the morn’ (c.1897) 2:42
D’un Vanneur du Blé aux Vents (1896) 2:35
Shepherd Fennel’s Dance (piano solo) (1911) 6:24
Three Shakespeare Settings
Fidele ‘Fear no more the heat o’ the sun’ (1897 rev 1908) 2:45
Full fathom five (1905) 2:11
Winter (1912) 1:53
On Chelsea Embankment (1915 rev 1938) 3:36
Cavalier (1921) 1:38
A Sailors’ Piece (piano solo) (1922) 4:39
Rybbesdale (1922) 2:16
The Quiet Garden (1922) 2:16