The Edward German discography

Naxos album cover 2009

Naxos "Tom Jones" (2009) 


Sophia - Marianne Hellgren-Staykov
Tom Jones - Richard Morrison
Honour - Heather Shipp
Squire Western - Donald Maxwell
Gregory - Simon Butteriss
Benjamin Partridge - Richard Suart
Lady Bellaston - Gaynor Keeble
An Officer - Giles Davies
Mr Allworthy - Paul Carey-Jones

Blifil - Ashley Bremner
Hostess of the inn at Upton - Catrine Kirkman
Betty - Rachel Harland
Peggy - Elizabeth Menezes
Grizzle - Iestyn Morris
Dobbin - Paul Carey Jones
Solo voices in the Barcarolle - Rachel Chapman, Karen Wise and Annette Stein

National Festival Orchestra and Chorus
Conductor: D. Russell Hulme

Recorded at the Haden Freeman Concert Hall, Royal Northern College of Music,
Manchester, from 1st to 3rd September 2008.


This recording is the first musically-complete recording of the Edward German opera. The dialogue is not included for reason of copyright laws which do not expire for at least another decade. This recording is notable for not only being musically complete, but also for the inclusion of three songs which were deleted from the final edition of the opera. Fortunately, Naxos is a budget label, so the cd set is reasonably priced. It is hoped that, with the predicted success of this album, Naxos may give us a Princess of Kensington, or more importantly, a Fallen Fairies.


Simon Moss had this to say:

"It really does include some glorious music and while some numbers, such as a wonderful madrigal, are clearly Sullivan-influenced it was very much a product of the Edwardian theatre. I'd heard that much of the music has a strong rural Somerset flavour, while a few songs reflect the urban sophistication of London, and I had expected to like the latter and loathe the former. In fact, I've found myself humming "Back to Somersetshire" all week, and much of the folksy music has really got under my skin. There are some wonderful moments for our hero and his soprano and great ensemble pieces too, especially two long finales. The underscoring is rich and inventive - possibly another technique picked up from working with Sullivan? This is apparently the first time that the full score has been recorded, and the CD includes three additional numbers at the end. Tom's haunting "I was a foundling boy" was dropped, possibly because its dark tones were at odds with the rest of the piece, yet stands alone as a musical masterpiece.

Most of the performers are truly brilliant and the orchestra (The Festival Orchestra which is in the pit at all the shows at Buxton) is of course stunning.  For a budget CD the packaging is superb, including background to Edward German, the piece, a synopsis and brief biogs and photos of the soloists. It is a shame that the lyrics could not have been printed, (possibly for copyright reasons?), because in a few of the numbers the diction is less than clear. [The lyrics are available for download on the Naxos website. -- ed]

At the launch of the CD in Buxton it was made clear that if future projects in this line are to see fruition it is important that this CD sells well. As German's Savoy pieces "Merrie England", "A Princess of Kensington", and "Fallen Fairies" could potentially be made, I'd encourage everyone to stump up and buy this one."


For UK buyers, click here.

For US buyers, click here.


Track listing.

Disc 1:

1 Introduction Act 1
2 Opening Chorus
3 Song "On a Januairy morning"
4 Song "West Country lad"
5 Song "To-day my spinet"
6 Interlude
7 Trio "Wisdom says"
8 Sextet 'The Barley Mow'

9 Madrigal "Here's a paradox for lovers"
10 Finale Act 1

11 Act 2 Opening Chorus
12 Song 'A Person of Parts'
13 Song 'Dream o'Day Jill'
14 Song "Gurt Uncle Jan Tappit"
15 Jig "With a fal la la"
16 Chorus "My lady's coach"
17 Song "As all the maids"
18 Laughing trio "You have a pretty wit"
19 Song "A Soldier's Scarlet Coat"
20 Song "Love maketh the heart a garden fair"
21 Finale Act 2

Disc 2:

1 Morris Dance
2 Gavotte "Glass of fashion"
3 Song "The Green Ribbon"
4 Song "If love's content"
5 Barcarolle "Beguile, beguile, with music sweet"
6 Recitative and Waltz Song "Which is my own true self?/For to-night"
7 Trio "Says a well-worn saw"
8 Melos
9 Finale Act 3

Additional Musical Numbers

10 Song "A Foundling Boy" (Tom)
11 Song "By night and day" (Sophia)
12 Trio "Come away with me my deary" (Sophia, Honour and Tom)


Disc 1 (Acts 1 & 2) 75:51
Disc 2 (Act 3 + Extras) 34:23


Issue History

Catalogue number: Naxos 8.660270-271