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Music of Lord Berners

Lord Berners Audio CD

Price: $19.74 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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1. Polka - Lord Berners/Peter Dickinson
2. Lieder Album: 3 Songs In The German Manner: Du Bist Wie Eine Blume - Lord Berners/Meriel Dickinson/Peter Dickinson
3. Lieder Album: 3 Songs In The German Manner: Konig Wiswamitra - Lord Berners/Meriel Dickinson/Peter Dickinson
4. Lieder Album: 3 Songs In The German Manner: Weihnachtslied - Lord Berners/Meriel Dickinson/Peter Dickinson
5. Fragments Psychologiques: La Haine - Lord Berners/Peter Dickinson
6. Fragments Psychologiques: Le Rire - Lord Berners/Peter Dickinson
7. Fragments Psychologiques: Un Soupir - Lord Berners/Peter Dickinson
8. Dialogue Between Tom Filuter And His Man, By Ned The Dog Stealer - Lord Berners/Bernard Dickerson/Richard Rodney Bennett
9. Lullaby - Lord Berners/Meriel Dickinson/Peter Dickinson
10. The Lady Visitor In The Pauper Ward - Lord Berners/Meriel Dickinson/Peter Dickinson
11. The Green-Eyed Monster - Lord Berners/Meriel Dickinson/Peter Dickinson
12. Le Poisson D'Or - Lord Berners/Susan Bradshaw
13. Red Roses And Red Noses - Lord Berners/Meriel Dickinson/Peter Dickinson
14. Trois Petites Marches Funebres: For A Statesman - Lord Berners/Susan Bradshaw
15. Trois Petites Marches Funebres: For A Canary - Lord Berners/Susan Bradshaw
16. Trois Petites Marches Funebres: For A Rich Aunt - Lord Berners/Susan Bradshaw
17. Trois Chansons: Romance - Lord Berners/Meriel Dickinson/Peter Dickinson
18. Trois Chansons: L'Etoile Filante - Lord Berners/Meriel Dickinson/Peter Dickinson
19. Trois Chansons: La Fiancee Du Timbalier - Lord Berners/Meriel Dickinson/Peter Dickinson
20. Valse Bourgeoises: Valse Brillante - Lord Berners/Susan Bradshaw/Richard Rodney Bennett
See all 33 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


Diplomat, composer, painter, poet, novelist and more besides – Lord Berners was distinguished in each of these fields, and remains an important figure in British artistic life of the first half of the twentieth century. To describe him as a quintessential English eccentric does not do him full justice – there is an intermittent depth to Berners's work which has ensured its survival, in the same way as the much better-known work of Erik Satie (with whom Berners can, not unfairly, be compared) has also survived. A cleverly planned reissue such as this, encompassing all aspects of Berners's musical output, is immensely valuable in enhancing our understanding of this brilliant artist. The recordings come mainly from a Unicorn-Kanchana LP issued in 1979, with the addition of some transfers from rare 78s and three tracks played by Berners himself. Quite apart from anything else, he was clearly a gifted pianist – although the ‘home movies' style of these last discs needs some indulgence from the listener. (We can also hear Berners humming along to his own playing, in which, like many composers, he seems too fond of the sustaining pedal.) Indeed, it is difficult not to like Berners's music: it is so beautifully written, and occasionally so provocative (as in the Polka, which never does what you want it to, yet blithely maintains its own logic) that it draws you back again and again. If you have a wealthy elderly relative, don't let him or her hear the Funeral March for a Rich Aunt wherein the ‘tune' is accompanied by harmony not dissimilar to that of The Rite of Spring! (Incidentally, if you get the chance to see the 1944 Tommy Trinder film Champagne Charlie, don't miss the opening credits – Berners's soundtrack here contains one of the funniest musical jokes ever perpetrated – not on this disc, alas.) Berners's style may be a kind of amalgam, à la française, of Sullivan, Noel Coward, Elgar, Warlock, Walton, Cyril Scott and Lambert; but his Lullaby, from the Three Songs of 1920, is a masterpiece of which any British composer would be proud. The performances here are consistently fine and the transfers have come up very well. This fascinating disc can be strongly recommended, with the proviso that one ought not to play it all the way through at once. The presentation is better than recent issues from this source: Gavin Bryars's notes are excellent, although texts are not included, and the producer/engineer of tracks 1-27, the late Robert Auger, is not credited. He should have been, and I am happy to honour his work here. Robert Matthew-Walker -- From International Record Review - subscribe now

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