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JAMES GILCHRIST (tenor); JOHN TURNER (recorder); TIM SMEDLEY (cello);
HARVEY DAVIES (harpsichord and piano);

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.


AUDIO SAMPLE: The White Birds (extract)

dealer release date: March 10, 2015





CD program:
Song Cycles:
The Birds
The Falling of the Leaves
Music in the Wood

Plaint (solo cello)
Three Short Songs:
The World State
Holy of Holies

Concerto for Recorder and String Quartet
The Nightingale
Four Folk Songs:
The Brisk Young Widow
Ye Banks and Braes
Ca' the Yowes
Soldier, Soldier

review extracts: for full reviews click here

“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 is a fine addition to the Metier series of modern lyrical music.” – John Pitt (New Classics)

“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 (The Whole Note)

“ 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 (Recorder Magazine)

“[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 (Fanfare)

“ 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 Recorder)

“ [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 (American Record Guide)

“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 (The Chronicle)

“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 (MusicWeb)