Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence

On This Shining Night: Music for Voice and String Quartet


Catalogue No: SOMMCD 0654
Release Date: 2022-06-17
Number of Discs: 1
EAN/UPC: 748871065420
Artists: , , ,
Composers: , , ,
Liner Notes

SOMM Recordings is delighted to announce a thrilling first collaboration between long-time SOMM stablemates, baritone Roderick Williams and the Coull Quartet, joined by tenor James Gilchrist and soprano Sophie Bevan.

With six first recordings, On This Shining Night is a ravishing recital focusing revealingly on a 20th-century phenomenon: works for voice and string quartet. It takes its title from a James Agate setting by Samuel Barber (whose masterly Dover Beach is also heard), here in a sublime arrangement by Roderick Williams.

Williams also provides arrangements of Barber’s Sleep Now and three Frederick Delius pieces from his Seven Songs from the Norwegian: the evocative Twilight Fancies, vivacious Young Venevil and exotic I-Brasil.

They serve, as Robert Matthew-Walker’s erudite booklet notes observe, as companions to 11 songs by Delius’s close friend and associate, Peter Warlock, including the gentle intimacy of Corpus Christi, the “mini-cantata” Sorrow’s Lullaby, and unique free-recitative of My gostly vader.

Composed for Williams and the Coull Quartet, Sally Beamish’s five-part Tree Carols offer striking, variegated settings of poems by Fiona Sampson in their premiere recording.

Roderick Williams’ SOMM catalogue include the acclaimed three-volume Twelve Sets of English Lyrics by Hubert Parry (SOMMCD 257, 270, 272), Sally Beamish’s Four Songs from Hafez (Birdsong, SOMMCD 0633), and the classic English song cycles A Shropshire Lad and Maud (SOMMCD 0615), which MusicWeb International declared a “game changer… in terms of our appreciation of Arthur Somervell’s songs”.

The Coull Quartet has recorded a wide repertoire for SOMM. Their recording of Nicholas Maw and Benjamin Britten quartets (SOMMCD 065) was a Gramophone Editor’s Choice and a BBC Music Magazine Benchmark Recording. Gramophone declared their recent SOMM release with Clélia Iruzun, Treasures from the New World, featuring piano quintets by Amy Beach and Henrique Oswald (SOMMCD 0609), “a delight”.

On This Recording

    PETER WARLOCK (1894-1930): Collected Songs for Voice and String Quartet

  1. Chopcherry c
  2. Corpus Christi ab
  3. The Faireset May c
  4. Mourn no moe a
  5. A Sad Song b
  6. My gostly fader a
  7. My Lady is a pretty one c
  8. My little sweet darling b
  9. Sleep a
  10. Sorrow's Lullaby bc
  11. Take, O take those lips away a
  12. SAMUEL BARBERs (1910-81)

  13. Dover Beach a
  14. Sleep now a*
  15. Sure on this shining night a*
  16. SALLY BEAMISH (b.1956): Tree Carols

  17. The Miracle Tree - Tree Carols a*
  18. The Trees are Troubled a*
  19. Vigil a*
  20. The Tree is a Changing Sky a*
  21. Bushes and Briars a*
  22. FREDERICK DELIUS (1862-1934)

  23. I-Brasil a* (arr. Roderick Williams)
  24. Twilight Fancies a* (arr. Roderick Williams)
  25. Young Veneviil a* (arr. Roderick Williams)

a Roderick Williams, Baritone
b Sophie Bevan, soprano
c James Gilchrist, tenor
Coull Quartet
Roger Coull, Philip Gallaway violins
Jonathan Barritt viola
Nicholas Roberts cello


“Roderick Williams teams up with the admirable Coull Quartet for an uncommonly fine account of Samuel Barber’s Dover Beach… the 20-year-old’s sublime setting appears in the context of a whole programme of music for voice and string quartet, to which the versatile Williams has contributed his own shapely adaptations… There are gems galore in [Warlock’s] delightful sequence, for which Williams is joined by soprano Sophie Bevan and tenor James Gilchrist.… Suffice to say, Williams sings with consummate agility, intelligence and disarming beauty of timbre, and his partnership with the Coull Quartet is a most nourishing one. A strongly appealing release” —Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone