a lad's love
with STEVEN McGHEE, piano
featuring REGINALD MOBLEY, countertenor
Bridge Records, Inc. 9542
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When I first discovered Ivor Gurney's Ludlow and Teme during my graduate studies at the University of Michigan, it made a lasting impression. I programmed the cycle on my degree recital, which coincidentally, was also the first time that Steven and I performed together.
Ever since that first outing, we have wanted to record the work. A. E. Housman’s poetry set by Gurney was so affecting, that we started digging for other settings by lesser-known British composers of that time. That led us to John Ireland’s songs, and ultimately to living-composer Ian Venables’ 21st Century setting of “Because I liked you better.”
As we dove further into English poetry and songs of the early 20th Century, we found an array that tell stories of loss or unrequited love—like Quilter’s pleading setting of Shelley and Britten’s intimate settings of W. H. Auden—that are bolder, more self-assured statements of desire. Yet the consistent emotional intensity of the text binds them together seamlessly.
All of the works on this album are, therefore, unified by the depth of feeling expressed by the lover, not by the gender of the object of his affection, which is conspicuously absent from any of the texts. Loss is at the center of these songs, whether due to death, societal standards, unrequited love, the passage of time, or inaction.
“a lad's love is a stunning array of English songs from the early 20th century whose composers and poets were operating on multiple levels in the words and music they created, words and music whose essential meaning still deeply moves us to this day. As the CD's liner notes suggest, the songs on a lad's love consider "a delight in the friendships of one's youth...the pain of unrequited love...the love of one man for another...the destruction, horror, and futility of war...the natural world as metaphor for goodness, truth, order, safety, and home." These works were created in the face of lost youth, lost time, lost love, lost friends, lost life in the turbulent years of the late Victorian era. The album features extended works by Ivor Gurney, Benjamin Britten and John Ireland, alongside shorter pieces by Peter Warlock and Roger Quilter, plus the only 21st century song, "Because I liked you better" by Ian Venables. Most of the songs are set to the poetry of A.E. Housman, W.H. Auden, Percy Shelley and F.W. Harvey.”
1-7. Ludlow and Teme (1923) | Ivor Gurney (1890-1937)
8. In Flanders (1917) | Ivor Gurney
9. Canticle II: "Abraham & Isaac." Op. 51 (1952) | Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
featuring Reginald Mobley, Countertenor
10. In An Arbour Green (1922) | Peter Warlock (1894-1930)
11. Love's Philosophy (1905) | Roger Quilter (1877-1953)
12. Ladslove (1920) | John Ireland (1879-1962)
13-18. Fish in the unruffled lakes (1937-1941) | Benjamin Britten
19-21. We'll to the Woods no More (1927) | John Ireland
22. Songs of Eternity and Sorrow Op.36a: IV: Because I liked you better (2004) | Ian Venables (b. 1955)
RECORD OF THE WEEK: WCLV Cleveland Classical
a lad's love has been chosen to be Recording of the Week from July 13-17by Cleveland's mighty classical radio station WCLV, which will also broadcast an interview with Mr. Giebler (available now here) by program host John Mills.
AMAZON'S HOT NEW RELEASES (CLASSICAL)
This album has been charting (as high as #7) on Amazon's Hot New Releases top 100!
I owe my sincere gratitude to the numerous supporters who have contributed to the production of this album, including:
My true love Jordan Peterson, Gary and Barb Giebler, Adam and Stephanie Grube, Ginna Peterson, Dale and Debbie Peterson, Jack and Carole Giebler, Nancy Varnum - in loving memory of Ron Varnum, Kallie Ferguson and Zachary Mayer, Jan and Gene Hannum, The Ivor Gurney Society, Anna Sosenko Assist Trust, True Concord Artists, Jeanne and Rick Farleigh, Jean and Jim Rautio, Peter Lee, Daniel Cohen, Robert Berg - in memory of Diane Berg, Sarah Berg, Herbert and Paula Molner, Andy and Cammie Watson, Paul Lorah, Craig Scott Symons, James Wilson, Dail and David Richie, Naomi Cohen, Sarah Bedal, Jeannie Bourget, Michael Reynolds, Kurt Ollmann, Nathan Young, Rich and Rebecca Barkley, Rob and Janet Ferguson, George and Nancy Cockerill, Mary RuDell Kylander, Sherry Root and Roger Craig, Katie Conwell, Paul Adkins, Jan Opalach, Kolene Bailey, Dorothy Falk, Naki Sung Kripfgans, Eric Holtan, Melissa Baker, Betty and Kevin Casey, Dolores Cenci, William Nemir, Sherezade Panthaki, Ryan Brandau, Logan and Cat, Luthien Brackett, Terry Claus, Amy Justman, Brandon Ulrich, Steven Hrycelak, Jason Pesick, Gregory Sikora, Heather Yanke, and to the numerous supporters who chose to remain anonymous.
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a lad's love was part of Giebler Musical Arts, which is fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas, a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit public charity. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
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