Armstrong Gibbs - The Songs | Lyrita SRCD2400

Armstrong Gibbs - The Songs


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Label: Lyrita

Cat No: SRCD2400

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 4

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 4th March 2022



Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano)
Nathan Vale (tenor)
Adrian Farmer (piano)


Gibbs, Cecil Armstrong

A Ballad-Maker
A Song of Shadows
A Voice in the Dusk (4 songs), op.91
As I lay in the early sun
By a Bierside
Children's Songs (5) from 'Peacock Pie'
Dream Song
Evening in Summer
Five Eyes
Gray and Gold (5 songs)
In the Highlands
Joan of Arc (5 songs), op.102
John Mouldy
Lament for Robin Hood
Love's Prisoner
Love's Wisdom
Love is a Sickness, op.44 no.1
Lullaby (Sleep, sleep, lovely white soul)
Lullaby, op.3 (Sleep, sleep, beauty bright)
Old Wine in New Bottles (4 Restoration songs)
On Duncton Hill
Padraic the Fidiler
Philomela or The Nightingale, op.13
Prayer before sleep
Proud Maisie
Sailing Homeward
Silver, op.30 no.2
Slow, Horses, Slow
Song of the Mad Prince
Songs (2) from Childhood
Songs (3) from 'Henry Brocken'
Songs (3) to Christina Rossetti, op.131
Songs (4) from 'Crossings', op.20
Songs (5) to Walter de la Mare
Take Heed, Young Heart
The Ballad of Semmerwater
The Cherry Tree
The Exile
The Fields are Full
The Flooded Stream
The Gallias
The Little Green Orchard
The Little Salamander
The Market
The Old House
The Orchard Sings to the Child
The Oxen
The Rainy Day
The Scarecrow
The Ship of Rio
The Sleeping Beauty
The Summer Palace
The Tiger-Lily
The Wanderer
The Witch
To Anise
Tom o' Bedlam
To one who passed whistling through the night
Willow Leave (3 songs after the Chinese manner), op.126


Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano)
Nathan Vale (tenor)
Adrian Farmer (piano)


Cecil Armstrong Gibbs (he disliked the name Cecil so was known as Armstrong) was a prolific and versatile  composer of the first half of the twentieth century. He studied under Sir Adrian Boult and Ralph Vaughan Williams. His contemporaries were Herbert Howells, Sir Arthur Bliss and Sir Arnold Bax. Known principally for his solo songs Gibbs also wrote music for the stage, sacred works, three symphonies and a substantial amount of chamber music. He gained wide recognition during the early part of his life. He continued to compose and conduct up until his death in May 1960. He is buried with his wife Honor in Danbury churchyard.

Putting this project together we were surprised by both the quantity and consistent quality of Gibbs’s output. The popular songs fully deserve their treasured position, but now we could easily match them with a new selection – To Anise, The Cherry Tree, On Duncton Hill, The Tiger-Lily, Midnight, Slow Horses Slow, The Exile and Take Heed Young Heart might be concert winners given a chance. In them we find the same simplicity and sensitivity to text. It has been remarked more than once that performers will find the best songs among the settings of de la Mare, this rather easy simplification holds less well when, as in this collection, we can assess Armstrong Gibbs output in a more complete form.

Charlotte de Rothschild’s career has taken her all over the world. With her wide knowledge of the song repertoire, from different eras, countries and genres, she has created many themed programmes; the best-known being “Family Connections” which traces the musical history of her forebears with music by, and anecdotes about, the composers who were friends, teachers or ancestors of the Rothschild family during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Nathan Vale studied with Ryland Davies at the Royal College of Music and Benjamin Britten International Opera School. He was awarded an Independent Opera Vocal Scholarship to the National Opera Studio, where he was further supported by the Elmley Foundation, ENO, the Nicholas John Trust and The Seary Trust. He is a former winner of the London Handel Singing Competition where he was also awarded the Audience Prize. He continues his studies with David Pollard.

Adrian Farmer trained as an accompanist at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester from 1977, following a music degree at Birmingham University. He first encountered Nimbus Records in 1979, when he was invited to record for them, but quickly made the decision to join the founders as a record producer, a role that he has maintained for 40 years.

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