Composer Muriel Herbert (1897-1984).

The Observer’s CD of the week, written about by Fiona Maddocks, is Songs of Muriel Herbert(LINN CKD 335) sung by the Irish soprano, Ailish Tynan and the tenor, James Gilchrist  to piano accompaniment provided by David Owen Norris.

 That this collection of thirty six songs now sees the light of day is in good part due to the efforts of Herbert’s daughter, the literary critic and biographer Claire Tomalin, who, believing that her mother’s compositions – song settings – deserved to be saved for posterity, set about making a collection of them.

Fiona Maddox, in her review, suggests that in finding Herbert’s is  “a new body of work exciting and lasting”

 …this collection of her art songs and performed here by a superb trio of musicians. Their commitment alone endorses the music’s quality. Herbert studied music in an era when professional women composers were rare as woodlarks, yet every genteel young woman was expected to play and sing.

 …..Piano accompaniments are poignant and skilfully played by David Owen Norris. Ailish Tynan and James Gilchrist sing with open-hearted commitment. I hope the pair incorporate many of these works into their recitals. Steeped in the English song tradition of the early 20th century, they grow on you with each listening.

In order to show that Maddocks has not overstated the case, I have included in this posting another soprano, Elisabeth Goell, singing Herbert’s setting of W.B.Yeats’s poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree


One Response to “Composer Muriel Herbert (1897-1984).”

  1. Composer Muriel Herbert 1897-1984. Post 2. « Kevin Cryan online Says:

    […] essay in the Review pages of today’ edition of The Guardian is a fragmented memoir to her mother, Muriel Herbert, and an account of the part she an others played in getting her mother’s songs released  on CD – […]

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