John Shirley-Quirk: English Song | Heritage HTGCD2834

John Shirley-Quirk: English Song


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Label: Heritage

Cat No: HTGCD2834

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 2

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 8th December 2014



John Shirley-Quirk (bass-baritone)
Martin Isepp (harpsichord, piano)
Ambrose Gauntlett (viola da gamba)
Nona Liddell (violin)
Ivor McMahon (violin)
Eric Parkin (piano)


Butterworth, George

Songs from A Shropshire Lad (6)

Humfrey, Pelham

A Hymn to God the Father

Ireland, John

Sea Fever
Songs (5) to poems by Thomas Hardy
Songs Sacred and Profane (6)

Keel, Frederick

Trade Winds

Moeran, Ernest John

Ludlow Town: song cycle (4)
» no.1 When smoke stood up from Ludlow
» no.2 Farewell to barn and stack and tree
» no.3 Say, lad, have you things to do?

Purcell, Henry

Music for a while, Z583
The Mock Marriage, Z605
» Man is for the woman made
» Twas within a furlong of Edinburgh Town
When night her purple veil had softly spread, Z201 (arr. Britten)

Stanford, Charles Villiers

Drake's Drum
Songs of the Sea (5), op.91
» The 'Old Superb'

Vaughan Williams, Ralph

Linden Lea
Silent Noon
Songs of Travel (9)

Warlock, Peter

Captain Stratton's Fancy


John Shirley-Quirk (bass-baritone)
Martin Isepp (harpsichord, piano)
Ambrose Gauntlett (viola da gamba)
Nona Liddell (violin)
Ivor McMahon (violin)
Eric Parkin (piano)


As a tribute to the late John Shirley-Quirk, Heritage is proud to re-issue the recordings he made of English song for the SAGA label in the 1960s.

Three LPs were originally laid down: 'Songs of Travel', 'A Recital of English Song' and 'The Songs of John Ireland', and they appear here as a double CD. The performances are considered by many to be definitive, and the present collection, re-mastered from the original tapes, appears by kind permission of the SAGA Continuation Trust.

The recordings have not been available in CD format for 20 years, which makes this Heritage release highly anticipated.

John Stanton Shirley-Quirk CBE (28 August 1931-7 April 2014) was an English bass-baritone who started his working life as a chemistry lecturer before becoming a member of the English Opera Group from 1964 to 1976. His early singing career began as a member of the Purcell Singers and as a lay clerk at St Paulís Cathedral.

He went on to give premiere performances of several operatic and vocal works by Benjamin Britten, recording these and other works under the composer's direction. He sang and recorded a wide range of repertoire by other composers and consequently his discography is huge. His vocal style is characterised by a rich and smooth timbre coupled with a level of musicality which enabled him to interpret the music he was singing with great profundity.

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