Our First CD (1996)

Folk Song Arrangements: In the early part of the 20th century a group of composers (Sharp, Holst, Vaughan Williams, Warlock, Grainger etc.) toured the country listening to, transcribing and arranging the rich heritage of British folk song. Bushes and Briars and The Turtle Dove are good examples of traditional tunes and words arranged for 4-part choir. The Ballad of Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard is based on a folk tale concerning the elopement of the wife of an aristocrat with a commoner. The same story is told in the folk song Matty Groves made popular by Fairport Convention in the 1970s. Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) wrote original music for his version during World War II and the piece was premiered by British soldiers in a prison camp in Germany in 1943!

Victorian/Edwardian Ballads: The Holy City and The Lost Chord are typically powerful arrangements by Doris Arnold of popular Victorian religious songs. The Lost Chord was written by Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900), a well-known composer of comic operas, to mark the death of his brother Fred in 1877. The Wanderer (1923) is an original composition by Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934) It was with this piece that IMVC achieved the “Most Promising Choir” award at the first Elgar Festival in Worcester Cathedral in 1988.

Other European works: including Laska Opradiva and Ave Maria by Janacek ((1854-1928), original pieces sung in Czech. Gaudete is a Medieval Latin Christmas song from central Europe. We had this track played on national radio by Classic FM. Marching Song is by the Hungarian composer Matyas Seiber (1905-1960). Sung here in English, it begins “Soldier, soldier, to Romania marching.” Miserere (Verdi 1852) and O Du Mein Holder Abendstern (Wagner 1845) are both from major operatic works and sung here in their original languages.

Pieces of American Origin: Ching-a-Ring Chaw, The Boatmen’s Dance and The Little Horses are from a collection (c. 1950) of American folk songs arranged by one of America’s best-known composers, Aaron Copland. The Way You Look Tonight (Jerome Kern) and Softly As I Leave You are romantic popular songs of the mid 20th century. Summertime is a soprano song from Porgy and Bess, probably the best-known work of musical theatre by George Gershwin. There is Nothing Like a Dame, Wandrin’ Star and There’s a Coach Comin’ In are taken from popular Broadway musicals.

The guest soprano soloist on this recording is the late Delinne Isaacs.

Tracks from this CD were played on ClassicFM and on Romanian national radio on New Year’s Day 2004.

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