Betty Roe is quite a phenomenon – unknown to most people! Composer of six operas, orchestral works and light music for theatre and cabaret, her first love is art-song of which she has produced over 300 examples. Her style is eclectic, ranging from the serious to the comical, displaying a wonderful wit as well as a firm grasp of vocal writing and a way of providing music that seems totally at one with the texts. At the age of 87 she remains a major force in the music world. In 2011 she was awarded the MBE for services to classical music and composition.
This programme of songs composed over the last 30 years is a delight and features top English soloists Sarah Leonard and Anne Marie Sheridan (sopranos), Robin Tritschler (tenor) and Stephen Varcoe (baritone) with Nigel Foster, English song accompanist extraordinaire (today’s Gerald Moore) at the piano. In several items obbligato French horn (Daniel Beer – the composer’s grandson), recorder (Emma Murphy) or violin (Madeleine Mitchell) add to the texture. This is the first recording of these songs and is produced in cooperation with the Betty Roe Society.
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