Amy Woodforde-Finden - The Oriental Song-Cycles
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Label: Toccata Classics
Cat No: TOCC0236
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 2nd June 2014
WorksA Dream of Egypt
A Lover in Damascus
Indian Love Lyrics (4)
Songs (6) from 'On Jhelum River'
Stars of the Desert
The Myrtles of Damascus
ArtistsMichael Halliwell (baritone)
David Miller (piano)
Amy Woodforde-Finden (1860–1919) epitomises the Edwardian drawing-room ballad but she had an extraordinary beginning in life: she was born in Chile to a British mother and an American who was British consul in Valparaiso. The cover features the only known photograph of her.
Her song-cycle Four Indian Love Lyrics of 1902 contains the ‘Kashmiri Song’ (it begins ‘Pale hands I loved beside the Shalimar’) that became a runaway success in its own day. Her five other ‘oriental’ song-cycles, which have long since fallen from favour and are revived here for the first time, contain plenty of honest sentiment, good tunes and splashes of local colour. Their hints of inter-racial love and lesbian romance must have given a real frisson to their contemporary audiences.
Michael Halliwell was principal baritone for many years with the Netherlands Opera, the Nürnberg Municipal Opera and the Hamburg State Opera. He is now on the staff at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where he has served as Chair of Vocal Studies and Opera, Pro-Dean and Head of School, and Associate Dean.
David Miller is widely recognised as one of Australia's leading chamber musicians and vocal accompanists. He has been appointed as a member of the Order of Australia for his service to music. He has been on the staff of Sydney Conservatorium of Music since 1980 and in 1995 was appointed Chair of the Ensemble Studies Unit.
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