In October 2012 I made a recording at Champs Hill of the music written for me over the past few years by Stephen McNeff. The repertoire is unified by an Italian theme: texts for the Madrigali dell’Estate song-cycle and Farfalle di Neve are by the Italian poet, politician, novelist and ladies’ man Gabriele d’Annunzio, and the English poet Shelley’s death by drowning in the bay of La Spezia is the subject of A Voice of One Delight, appearing on the CD in its original version for mezzo, flute, harp and viola. The unaccompanied folk-inspired songs in Abruzzo dialect are the most recent of all the repertoire, written in 2012.
The recording project has been made possible largely thanks to the generosity of Mary and David Bowerman (right), for whose Champs Hill Records label the recording has been made, and a private donor who topped up the funds pledged by the RVW and Finzi Trusts towards the artists’ costs.
The CD was released in March 2013 to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Gabriele d’Annunzio.
The details of the recording are as follows:
Madrigali dell’Estate (2009)
eleven songs for mezzo and piano,
to Italian texts by Gabriele d’Annunzio
A Voice of One Delight (2010)
a dramatic scena for mezzo, flute, harp and viola,
using English texts by Percy Bysshe Shelley and Edward Trelawny
commissioned by Presteigne Festival
Farfalle di Neve (2007)
song for mezzo, violin, viola and ‘cello,
to Italian text by Gabriele d’Annunzio
Abruzzo Folk Songs (2012)
three unaccompanied songs for mezzo in Abruzzo dialect
Performing on the recording with me are members of the Orchestra Nova Ensemble, conducted by George Vass, and Andrew West (piano).