Although John Ireland is best remembered for his orchestral works, his 91 songs convey a peculiarly English quality of emotion expressed through reserve. The many gems on this recording include the bitter-sweet Sea Fever (1913), with its yearning strophic melody sailing on an accompaniment that is varied with each verse, the dark, fatalistic Three Songs to Poems by Thomas Hardy and the heart-rending Her Song, one of Ireland's most beautiful. Ireland s failure to find love is perhaps best expressed in the bleak cycle Two Poems of A.E. Housman.
Roderick Williams' elegant and delicate performances reveal the heart of this music...and lain Burnside is an excellent partner. --BBC Music Magazine