The Singing Club
The Hilliard Ensemble : discography


Harmonia Mundi HMC 901153

Playing time: 54'39

Recorded: Henry Wood, Hall, Londres, September 1984

www.harmoniamundi.com



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The Singing Club

Ravenscroft, Lawes, Purcell, Arne


The Hilliard Ensemble


Contents:

The Catch Club
 1.  A Round of three country dances in one (Thomas Ravenscroft) [2'24] 
 2.  There were three ravens (Thomas Ravenscroft) [6'43] 
 3.  Call George again, boys (John Hilton) [1'21] 
 4.  Drink tonight of the moonshine bright (William Lawes) [1'51] 
 5.  She weepeth sore in the night (William Lawes) [1'49] 
 6.  Dainty fine aniseed water fine (William Lawes) [1'23] 
 7.  Where the bee sucks there suck I (John Wilson) [1'18] 
 8.  Gather your rosebuds while you may (William Lawes) [1'29] 
 9.  'Tis woman makes us love (Henry Purcell) [0'53] 
 10.  Sir Walter enjoying his damsel (Henry Purcell) [1'46] 
 11.  Inigo Jones (Anonymous 17th Century) [1'25] 
 12.  Epitaph (Jonathan Battishill) [2'35] 
 13.  The Singing Club (Thomas Arne) [2'27] 

The Glee Club
 14.  Foresters sound the cheerful horn (Henry Bishop) [1'33] 
 15.  To soften care (Thomas Arne) [3'19] 
 16.  The Anacreontick Song (John Stafford Smith) [4'29] 
 17.  Elegy on the death of Mr. Shenstone (Thomas Arne) [4'13] 
 18.  Sigh no more ladies (Thomas Arne) [3'59] 
 19.  There is a paradise on earth (Robert Lucas Pearsall) [3'47] 
 20.  O who will o'er the downs so free (Robert Lucas Pearsall) [1'53] 
 21.  Sweet and low (Joseph Barnby) [2'54] 


Performers:

David James, countertenor
Rogers Covey-Crump, John Potter, Paul Elliott, tenors
Paul Hillier, Michael George, Michael Pearce, basses

dir. Paul Hillier


Reviews:

It's good to have this gem from the old Hilliard Ensemble (originally issued in 1985) back in the catalog at budget price. The program--and the characterful, spirited singing by the infectiously convivial Hilliards--celebrates the lively, very often bawdy and occasionally melancholy songs performed in England's coffee-houses, taverns, and pubs by both casual and more formally organized groups of singers, back in the old, old days when England was merry and people actually thought it was fun to sit around and sing. These "singing clubs", active in various forms primarily during the 17th-19th centuries, often enjoyed contributions from some of the finest contemporary composers, and although the "poetic" content of the songs may not always have been the most sophisticated or polite, the music, in the style of rounds, partsongs, and rousing choruses, is invariably catchy and well-crafted.
Of course, the Hilliard Ensemble does this repertoire more than fair justice, not only with its impeccable harmonizing and dead-on intonation (Barnby's "Sweet and low" is exquisite), but also with its appropriately fun-loving style. Texts are provided--English-only this time, and in larger type!--but the notes still erroneously cite "The Anacreontick Song" as the source for "Stars and stripes" rather than for "The Star-Spangled Banner".
--David Vernier (classicstoday.com)