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Jack Sullivan
American Record Guide, January 2018

Geoffrey Bush and Joseph Horovitz are 20th Century English song composers; their work is harmonically conservative but full of invention, melody, a gift for tone painting, and a sense of fun. The stylistic similarities between the two makes for an appealing unity; and soprano Susanna Fairbairn, ably supported by pianist Matthew Schellhorn, champions both composers with sensitivity and a feeling for the texts.

Susanna Fairbairn sings these with pungency and a great sense of style. © 2018 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Andrew Achenbach
Gramophone, October 2017

Soprano Susanna Fairbairn is in delectably fresh voice throughout, and she forges a splendidly stylish and communicative alliance with her accompanist Matthew Schellhorn. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



David Denton
David's Review Corner, July 2017

Geoffrey Bush’s political allegiances did nothing to endear him to British audiences in the post Second World War, though he was a major contributor to English song. Lacking direction was another problem that proved to be a barrier to his establishing a place in concert programming, his works veering between the influences of the Second Viennese School and a likeable English folksong atmosphere. That strange mix you will hear within the first two of the seven songs that form Mirabile Misterium. And so you proceed through the disc, my own approach, even when divested of any political leanings, has always been one of treading warily, the present disc continuing that approach, though by the end I found I could much commend it too you. The Three Songs to words of Ben Jonson are bitter-sweet; archy at the zoo is a charming look at ten creatures in the zoo as seen through the eyes of ‘archy’ the cockroach, and finally, from the seventy-year-old Bush, Yesterday, to words by the poet, Charles Causley. Cameos of scenes or people are uncomplicated, the piano, as with all of his songs, mostly cast in the role of a commentator on the words. Joseph Horovitz, now ninety-one and still composing, is British by adoption, his six tracks here including a highly dramatic picture of Lady Macbeth. It takes the young soprano, Susanna Fairbairn, into operatic mode, her exact intonation and smooth quality readily adapting to the style of both composers. A prominent performer of new music, Matthew Schellhorn’s clean-cut playing has been well captured in an ideally balanced recording. © 2017 David’s Review Corner





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