Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert - Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert Northern Ireland Opera Festival Of Voice 2017

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01Northern Ireland Opera Festival Of Voice 201720171205

Chamber music performances from the NI Opera Festival of Voice 2017 at Glenarm, Co. Antrim

John Toal presents a series of recitals from Northern Ireland Opera's Festival of Voice 2017, recorded at St Patrick's Church of Ireland in Glenarm, Co Antrim. Irish baritone Gavan Ring is joined by pianist Simon Lepper in a performance of Vaughan Williams' "Songs of Travel", based on the words of Robert Louis Stevenson. Pianist Joseph Middleton performs alongside tenor Toby Spence with Benjamin Britten's "On This Island", music set to the words of the poet, and one of the composer's collaborators, WH Auden. And rounding off today's recital, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston performs Vaughan Williams' "Four Last Songs", accompanied by pianist Joseph Middleton. This was some of the last music Vaughan Williams wrote, with texts by his wife Ursula, and was first performed in 1959.

Vaughan Williams: Songs of Travel
Gavan Ring (baritone), Simon Lepper (piano)

Benjamin Britten: On This Island Op. 11
Toby Spence (tenor), Joseph Middleton (piano)

Vaughan-Williams: Four Last Songs
Jennifer Johnston (mezzo-soprano), Joseph Middleton (piano).

02Northern Ireland Opera Festival Of Voice 201720171206

Chamber music performances from the NI Opera Festival of Voice 2017 at Glenarm, Co. Antrim

John Toal presents a series of recitals from Northern Ireland Opera's Festival of Voice 2017, recorded at St Patrick's Church of Ireland in Glenarm, Co Antrim. Today we have performances from tenor Tony Spence, accompanied by pianist Joseph Middleton with Finzi's "'Till Earth Outwears the Rain" - based on the words of Thomas Hardy and written over the course of three decades from the late 1920s to the mid 1950s, and Benjamin Britten's "Michelangelo Sonnets" - originally written for Britten's partner, the tenor Peter Pears, and described as "an open declaration of their love for each other." And mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston also joins Joseph Middleton to perform Britten's "A Charm of Lullabies", a song-cycle of 5 poems by various authors including William Blake and Robbie Burns. Completing today's recital, Toby Spence returns with music this time arranged by Britten, Purcell's "Music for a While".

Finzi: 'Till Earth Outwears the Rain, Op. 19
Toby Spence (tenor), Joseph Middleton (piano)

Britten: A Charm of Lullabies, Op. 41
Jennifer Johnston (mezzo-soprano), Joseph Middleton (piano)

Britten: Michelangelo Sonnets, Op. 22
Toby Spence (tenor), Joseph Middleton (piano)

Purcell (arr. Britten): Music for a While
Toby Spence (tenor), Joseph Middleton (piano).

03Northern Ireland Opera Festival of Voice 201720171207

Chamber music performances from the NI Opera Festival of Voice 2017 at Glenarm, Co. Antrim

John Toal presents a series of recitals from Northern Ireland Opera's Festival of Voice 2017, recorded at St Patrick's Church of Ireland in Glenarm, Co Antrim. In today's recital, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston and pianist Joseph Middleton perform a selection of songs by Benjamin Britten, including Scottish folk songs with words by Robbie Burns and "Down by the Salley Gardens", set to words by the Irish poet WB Yeats. Baritone Gavan Ring is joined by pianist Simon Lepper to perform three songs by the Irish composer John Larchet, who died 50 years ago this year. Then Jennifer Johnston returns with Elgar's "Sea Pictures", originally written by the composer for orchestra and later arranged for piano, it's a song-cycle of poems by five different poets inspired by the sea. And completing the programme, an encore by Jennifer - Britten's "I Wonder as I Wander".

Britten: 5 songs
At the Mid Hour of Night
Ca' the Yowes
O Can Ye Sew Cushions
Down by the Salley Gardens
The Last Rose of Summer
Jennifer Johnston (mezzo-soprano), Joseph Middleton (piano)

John Larchet: 3 songs
Padraic the Fiddler
The Cormorant
The Philosophy of Love
Gavan Ring (baritone), Simon Lepper (piano)

Elgar: Sea Pictures, Op. 37
Jennifer Johnston (mezzo-soprano), Joseph Middleton (piano)

Britten: I Wonder as I Wander
Jennifer Johnston (mezzo-soprano), Joseph Middleton (piano).

04Northern Ireland Opera Festival Of Voice 201720171208

Chamber music performances from the NI Opera Festival of Voice 2017 at Glenarm, Co Antrim.

John Toal presents the last in our series of recitals from Northern Ireland Opera's Festival of Voice 2017, recorded at St. Patrick's Church of Ireland in Glenarm. In this final Lunchtime Concert from the series, tenor Tony Spence performs Poulenc's "Tel jour telle nuit" - one of the composer's most important song-cycles and written in 1937, performed with pianist Simon Lepper. Pianist Joseph Middleton returns with mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston for a piece by Purcell, his "Evening Hymn", first published in 1688. And to complete this week's series, Irish baritone Gavan Ring sings Schumann's "Dichterliebe", a song-cycle around the theme of unrequited love.

Poulenc: Tel jour telle nuit
Toby Spence (tenor), Joseph Middleton (piano)

Purcell: An Evening Hymn
Jennifer Johnston (mezzo-soprano), Joseph Middleton (piano)

Schumann: Dichterliebe, Op. 48
Gavan Ring (baritone), Simon Lepper (piano).