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The red of a woman’s heart

Australian art-songs by twentieth-century composers.


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Catalogue Number: 5060192780390


Soprano Lisa Harper-Brown and pianist David Wickham, both English but now based in Perth, have released a sequel to The Poet Sings (2012), their first volume devoted to neglected 20th-century Australian art song, and particularly female composers. The Red of a Woman’s Heart features three collections by Margaret Sutherland, including of William Blake poetry and six settings of Judith Wright, which for Wickham “are the best of the genre in Australia.” Many composers were still looking to England for lyrical material, so the Wright cycle is particularly significant, as are Raymond Hanson’s two settings of poems by the extraordinary Australian radical socialist poet Mary Gilmore. Other highlights include two sets by Peggy Glanville-Hicks, Profiles from China and Thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird. There is a lightness of touch about this recording, with a great sense of presence and space that makes it an excellent complement to the selections recorded by Ian Munro and Elizabeth Campbell nearly a decade ago. The interplay between Harper-Brown and Wickham is seamless, as though the music is being produced by a single entity. Harper-Brown is completely at home with the demands of this excitingly varied material, from the dance rhythms of Sutherland’s Blake songs, to the melancholy of two Jewish songs by Linda Phillips **** (Limelight)

Track listing
  1. Memory, hither come
  2. Piping down the valleys wild
  3. How sweet I roamed
  4. I love the jocund dance
  5. Young and old
  6. The yew tree
  7. Sappho’s loneliness
  8. The rock
  9. Poetics
  10. A lament of scarlet cloud
  11. The dream
  12. Crepuscule
  13. The son of heaven
  14. Night
  15. The pilgrim
  16. This is my delight
  17. Oranim yerukim
  18. Tavas z’havi
  19. Among twenty snowy mountains
  20. I was of three minds
  21. The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds
  22. A man, a woman
  23. I do not know which to prefer
  24. Icicles filled the long window
  25. O thin men of Haddam
  26. I know noble accents
  27. When the blackbird flew out of sight
  28. At the sight of blackbirds
  29. He rode over Connecticut
  30. The river is moving
  31. It was evening all afternoon
  32. Silence, beautiful voice
  33. The night wind
  34. I who am dead a thousand years
  35. Jenny kissed me
  36. O mistress mine
  37. Tom o’ Bedlam’s song
  38. Midnight
  39. Winter kestrel
  40. The old prison
  41. Woman’s song
  42. The twins
  43. Bullocky