The Nash Ensemble, Martyn Brabbins (conductor)
This 2-CD set presents the most comprehensive recording yet of the songs of Sir Arthur Bliss—which turns out to be a surprisingly varied output dating from all periods of his life. There are many first recordings here, and in fact many of the songs are virtually unknown. The poets range from the eighth-century Li-Po and early English to Housman, Hardy, Walter de la Mare and Kathleen Raine (the cycle Angels of the Mind), with a strong showing of the American writers Edna St Vincent Millay and Elinor Wylie. (Bliss was half-American himself.)
The Nash Ensemble provides the varied instrumental backings for the many songs which are not accompanied by piano alone.
The set comes with generous notes by Giles Easterbook and complete texts.