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Ireland: Songs ()

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British composer John Ireland's songs have a variable quality that some might call inconsistency but actually reflects an engagement with text and a deep familiarity with English poetry from the mid-nineteenth through Ireland's own early twentieth century. Ireland's basic idiom is tonal and conservative, but dissimilar to that of his contemporary Vaughan Williams; it is impressionistic, with an intimate quality and a quietly spiritual connection to nature in many of them. But within that basic idiom, more so than in his better-known chamber music, Ireland is flexible. Such works as Sea Fever (track 5), to a familiar poem by John Masefield, and If There Were Dreams to Sell (track 27) are close to parlor song, while I Have Twelve Oxen (track 14) is a light Renaissance-flavored setting, and a couple of songs to texts by Symbolist poet Arthur Symons ("a very dirty-minded man," complained the Pall Mall Gazette), Santa Chiara (Palm Sunday) and Tryst (In Fountain Court) (tracks 8 and 9), have an irregular,... Hide synopsis

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