The Silver Hound: Songs by Betty Roe


Catalogue No: MSV 28566
EAN/UPC: 809730856624
Artists: , , , , , , ,
Release Date: July 2017
Discs: 1
Total Playing Time: 66:13

Betty Roe is quite a phenomenon – unknown to most people! Composer of six operas, orchestral works and light music for theater and cabaret, her first love is art-song of which she has produced over 300 examples. Her style is eclectic, ranging from the serious to the comical, displaying a wonderful wit as well as a firm grasp of vocal writing and a way of providing music that seems totally at one with the texts; and at the age of 87, she remains a major force in the music world. In 2011 she was awarded the MBE by Queen Elizabeth II for services to classical music and composition.

This program of songs composed over the last 30 years is a delight and features top British and Irish soloists Sarah Leonard and Anne Marie Sheridan (sopranos), Robin Tritschler (tenor) and Stephen Varcoe (baritone) with Nigel Foster, English Song-accompanist extraordinaire (today’s Gerald Moore) at the piano. In several items obbligato French horn (Daniel Beer – the composer’s grandson), recorder (Emma Murphy) or violin (Madeleine Mitchell) add to the texture.

This is the first recording of these songs and is produced in co-operation with the Betty Roe Society.

Track Listing

    All composed by Betty Roe

  1. I Know a Bank
  2. In a Garden
  3. Two Garden Songs

  4. I. In this lone, open glade
  5. II. The Critic
  6. Magnificat
  7. The Silver Hound
  8. The Fair Singer
  9. Three Songs for Graham

  10. I. The Dream House
  11. II. The Promising Gardener
  12. III. Scooting
  13. Diva’s Lament
  14. Three Hardy Conversations

  15. I. A Wife Waits
  16. II. Father Dunman’s Funeral
  17. III. The Orphaned old Maid
  18. The Life that I Have
  19. Autumn’s Legacy
  20. Three Celtic Songs

  21. I. A Cradle Song
  22. II. A Boy’s Song
  23. III. The Fiddler of Dooney


Opera Now

Roe’s songs are almost defiantly, aggressively tonal and folk-like, like paintings by Grandma Moses popping up at an exhibition of dour minimalist artists. Stephen Varcoe lavishes crisp diction… Varcoe and the soprano Anne Marie Sheridan are ideally characterful. Robin Tritschler… is convincingly romantic.

” —Benjamin Ivry

Roe sets words beautifully naturally. I ended up absolutely captivated. A superb recording, with excellent placement of voices and instruments in the sound picture, seals the deal.

” —Colin Clarke
Musical Opinion

Betty Roe is an unsung heroine of British music, a very gifted composer. Here is a wonderfully-performed and excellent-recorded album of no fewer than 19 of her song settings… most welcome to the point where one hopes it will lead to more performances and recordings of music of such inherent and genuine quality.

” —Robert Matthew-Walker
Pizzicato (Luxembourg)

[The Soloists] are solidly supported by the good pianist Nigel Foster. The 19 songs on this recording were chosen from a total of three hundred. Roe always lets the chosen text flow into the composition. She creates settings aligned to the subjects of her texts and also uses unusual subjects for her songs.

” —Uwe Krusch
The Chronicle

There’s something charmingly dated about this collection of songs from Roe. It’s a varied and interesting collection. The topics of the songs vary, though she seems to favour nature. Roe is also not afraid of mundane topics, whether it’s gardening or buses. Charming and very English, this is an entertaining set of songs.

” —Jeremy Condliffe
British Music Society

This new release on Metier is a welcome addition to the abundant and ever increasing discography of English song. Featuring a host of exceptional artists, , the disc is excellently recorded and balanced. . From the serious to the humorous, Roe shows herself a master of word-setting with thoughtful complementary accompaniment. . Tuneful and engaging, many of her songs deserve to be heard more frequently.

” —Andrew King
New Classics

[Roe’s] style is eclectic, ranging from the serious to the comical, displaying a wonderful wit as well as a firm grasp of vocal writing and a way of providing music that seems totally at one with the texts. [The album] is a delight. These excellent premiere recordings were produced in co-operation with the Betty Roe Society.

” —John Pitt
MusicWeb International

The songs on this CD are wide-ranging and often involve various combinations of voices and instrumentalists. There are detailed biographies of the performers. The texts of all the songs are included. The CD is well-produced with splendid sound quality and convincing performances from all the artists

” —John France