Nicholas Marshall: Songs and Chamber Music


Catalogue No: MSV 28552
EAN/UPC: 809730855221
Artists: , , ,
Release Date: March 2015
Genres: , , ,
Discs: 1
Total Playing Time: 74:54

This lovely album has links to two ongoing but unnamed ‘series’ from Metier Records: new British music of traditional, lyrical and Romantic nature, and the city of Manchester, hotbed of talent in all areas of new music from the lyrical to the extreme avant-garde. We present three substantial song cycles, which from their titles can be seen clearly inspired by Nature; folk song arrangements, and two non-vocal items: a cello solo and a recorder concerto. Internationally acclaimed tenor James Gilchrist is perfect for these songs and the instrumentalists are drawn from Northern England’s finest.

Track Listing

    Nicholas Marshall:

  1. I. The Birds – No. 1 – Proud Songsters (1:21)
  2. II. The Birds – No. 2 – The Birds (1:54)
  3. III. The Birds – No. 3 – Leda and the Swan (1:44)
  4. IV. The Birds – No. 4 – Boys Then and Now (0:58)
  5. V. The Birds – No. 5 – Snow (2:06)
  6. VI. The Birds – No. 6 – The Owl (1:20)
  7. VII. The Birds – No. 7 – The Swan (3:59)
  8. Plaint (3:28)
  9. I. The Falling of the Leaves – The White Birds (2:24)
  10. II. The Falling of the Leaves – The Host of the Air (2:30)
  11. III. The Falling of the Leaves – The Lover tells of the Rose in his Heart (1:44)
  12. IV. The Falling of the Leaves – The Fiddler of Dooney (1:24)
  13. V. The Falling of the Leaves – The Falling of the Leaves (1:49)
  14. VI. The Falling of the Leaves – He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven (2:36)
  15. I. Concerto for Recorder and String Quartet – I. Animato (6:47)
  16. II. Concerto for Recorder and String Quartet – II. Molto adagio (4:41)
  17. III. Concerto for Recorder and String Quartet – III. Molto vivace (3:42)
  18. I. Music in the Wood – No. 1 Music in the Wood (1:47)
  19. II. Music in the Wood – No. 2 The Spinner (1:25)
  20. III. Music in the Wood – No. 3 You in Anger (1:24)
  21. IV. Music in the Wood – No. 4 Nocturnal (2:28)
  22. V. Music in the Wood – No. 5 Catullus to Lesbia (1:22)
  23. VI. Music in the Wood – No. 6 Walters of Life (2:19)
  24. I. Three Short Songs – No. 1 Ultimate (1:59)
  25. II. Three Short Songs – No. 2 The World State (1:06)
  26. III. Three Short Songs – No. 3 The Holy of Holies (2:07)
  27. The Nightingale (5:02)
  28. I. Four Folk Songs – No. 1 The Brisk Young Widow (1:27)
  29. II. Four Folk Songs – No. 2 Ye Banks and Braes (1:53)
  30. III. Four Folk Songs – No. 3 Ca’ the Yowes (2:56)
  31. IV. Four Folk Songs – No. 4 Soldier, Soldier (1:57)



[Marshall’s] music is radiantly tonal; one might even say valiantly traditional. It’s lux­ury casting to have tenor James Gilchrist as the vocalist here. His singing is pure joy. Gilchrist’s tone is golden and pure. Gilchrist’s evenness of tone over his range and his seamless legato, coupled with his understanding of the music at hand, leads to a near-hyp­notic experience. A most enjoyable disc.

” —Colin Clarke

Marshall stands in the distinguished line of English lyrical composers with countryside affinities and a songster’s gift for word-setting. His experimentation and originality are within the bounds of a benevolent tonal tradition… full of character. James Gilchrist – who sings on 26 of the 31 tracks – knows this style so well and this serves Marshall and the listener very well indeed. The sung words are reproduced in full and everything is presented with typographical clarity.

” —Rob Barnett
American Recorder

John Turner’s elegant playing figures prominently in five of the eight works on this recording. The compositions by English composer Nicholas Marshall carry on the lyrical, pastoral lineage so audible in Ralph Vaughn Williams’s music. Turner conveys the beauty and substance of that lineage with much grace. Tenor James Gilchrist sings with wonderful diction, such that the lyrics are crystal clear. His voice works marvellously with Turner’s recorder.

” —Tom Bickley
American Record Guide

[Marshall’s] music is mostly tonal; any dissonances are very gentle. His tex­tures are uncluttered, and there’s a welcome simplicity to his ideas. I enjoyed hearing [the recorder’s] chance to shine in a more modern setting. The performances are all polished.

” —Stephen Estep
The Whole Note (Canada)

Marshall’s musical influences and talents are many and varied, and while certainly having his own inventive voice he follows in the musical footsteps of Warlock, Delius, Vaughan Williams and Sir Lennox Berkeley. James Gilchrist sings exquisitely, and Harvey Davies sounds equally at home on both harpsichord and piano. Two pieces for recorder and string quartet are played with attentive affection and deserve more attention from other recorder players out there!

” —Alison Melville
New Classics

West country born Nicholas Marshall is one of the many contemporary British composers who can write in traditional harmonies and tonality and yet produce music of freshness and which is of today. This album of premiere recordings showcases several song cycles with celebrated tenor James Gilchrist as well as the Concerto for Recorder and String […]

” —John Pitt
Recorder Magazine

Music of this quality deserves and stimulates dedicated performances, which it duly receives on what is a very welcome disc. [The Concerto] is a particularly significant contribution to the recorder’s concerto repertoire… brilliantly effective recorder and string writing.

” —Andrew Mayes
The Chronicle

Very English … evokes a cold but sunny day in autumn.. both slightly gloomy but also uplifting. The music captures the feel of poetry.

” —Jeremy Condliffe