Adrian Green & Noel Skinner: English Songbook


English songs, performed by tenor Adrian Green, with pianist, Noel Skinner.

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About this release

This debut album by tenor Adrian Green, explores well-known and lesser-known English Songs and includes a number of new commissions. Recorded in 2012, it was a collaboration with pianist, Noel Skinner.

Commissioned Programme Note

In 1888, Parry described the condition of English song writing as a ‘Slough of Musical Despond such as can rarely have been provided by any nation under heaven.’ There certainly must have been recognition by leading British composers of the late Victorian era that where Germany and France both had established song composers, England had yet to follow suit. It is also important to note that there was an increasing demand for songs in England at this time. From 1851-1901, the population of England doubled and with pianos becoming increasingly affordable, there was a demand for repertoire, from amateur and more advanced musicians, who wished to entertain with poetry and song.

So it was that from around the 1880’s the English Art Song was born. Amongst the earliest to lay the groundwork other than Parry were Stanford, Elgar and Delius. For inspiration, they looked not only at the music of their foreign counterparts, but also at the universally popular themes of youth, love and loss in changing times. And times were uncertain through the Twentieth Century. Both the ideals and realities of these great themes play out in this selection of songs. Read more

About the artists

Noel Skinner

Noel Skinner won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music and studied with Leslie England and the accompanist Rex Stephens. As a student, he won many prizes including the Harold Samuel Bach Prize and the McFarren Prize (at that time the highest award for Piano). He has appeared at the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, St John’s Smith Square and in several recitals at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, both as a soloist and in chamber ensembles. Noel has wide experience as an accompanist, operatic repetiteur and teacher.

Adrian Green

Adrian GreenAdrian Green is a graduate of Royal Holloway, University of London and recipient of the Dame Felicity Lott Bursary. He is the Managing Director of Convivium Records and Convivium Singers. Convivium Records have worked for a number of high profile clients. These including The Baltic Exchange in London and The Royal School of Church Music.

Meanwhile, Convivium Singers have worked with many notable composers and conductors, and performed at a number of international choral festivals. BBC Radio 3’s ‘CD Review’ featured their recording of Jonathan Dove’s choral music (available on NAXOS). Consequently, the host recommended them as ‘an extraordinarily good choir to listen to’,

In June 2014, the group featured on Songs of Praise (BBC1) in a special D-Day 70th Anniversary programme. In addition, guest conductors of the group have included Neil Ferris, David Price, Malcolm Archer and Eamonn Dougan. Read more

CD Booklet
  • Is she not passing fair? - Edward Elgar
  • The East Riding - John Ireland
  • A sea burthen - Michael Head
  • The sea-bird - Roger Quilter
  • A kingdom by the sea - Arthur Somervell
  • Orpheus with his lute - Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • The bayly berith the bell away - Peter Warlock
  • The salley gardens - Benjamin Britten
  • The green hills o'Somerset - Eric Coates
  • Go, lovely rose - Roger Quilter
  • Silent Noon - Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • The sigh - Gerald Finzi
  • Sleep - Ivor Gurney
  • Early one morning - Percy Grainger
  • Bredon Hill - George Butterworth
  • In dreams - Will Drakett
  • Youth and Love - Malcolm Archer
  • When I am dead, my dearest - Adrian Green
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Catalogue number: CR012

Tenor Adrian Green
Piano Noel Skinner

Photography Tom Kuglin
Engineering Kevin Hodgson
Mastering Adaq Khan
Producer Andrew King, Alexander Norman
Creative Director John Bevan
Executive Producer Adrian Green

Recorded 15, 16, 17 August 2012
Venue St Michael’s, Highgate, London
Total Duration 57 mins


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