Jennifer Vyvyan / Norma Procter
Songs of England (CD)
Jennifer Vyvyan had gone into the Decca studios in April and May 1953 and recorded this survey of English song which was duly rush-released with a crown on the cover and an advertising legend on the back cover, "to commemorate the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II."
The repertoire spans four centuries, from an anonymous lute-song and the evergreen madrigal by Thomas Morley, Now is the month of maying through to contemporary songs by Britten, Quilter and Vaughan Williams.
Two years later, Decca issued a 10-inch LP of "Traditional Songs" with the mezzo-soprano Norma Procter, who like Vyvyan had studied at the Royal Academy of Music with the doyen of British vocal coaches, Roy Henderson. Procter died in May 2017, and this reissue of her first solo recital on record is a fitting tribute to the memory of a singer whose "exquisite contralto" was critically recognised right from her distinguished debut on disc.
Lye still my Deare
Nymphs and Shepherds
THOMAS MORLEY: Now is the Month of Maying
ANONYMOUS: I will give my Love an Apple
Where the bee sucks
O ravishing Delight
The Sprig of Thyme
TRAD., arr. BENJAMIN BRITTEN: Sweet Polly Oliver
HERBERT HOWELLS: Gavotte
RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS The New Ghost
HOPKINS: A Melancholy Song
QUILTER: Love’s Philosophy
Jennifer Vyvyan, soprano
Ernest Lush, piano
I’m Seventeen come Sunday
How Deep in Love am I
ANONYMOUS: O no John
ANONYMOUS: O can ye sew Cushions?
Norma Procter, contralto
Alec Redshaw, piano