Folk Songs Volume 2

Folk song arrangements for voice and piano or violin

This is the second in a series of four albums recording all 80 of the folk songs in English that Ralph Vaughan Williams arranged for voice and piano or violin.  57 of the 80 songs have not previously been recorded in these arrangements.

This second album has 19 tracks including 15 world premières. It includes Folk Songs collected from the Southern Appalachian Mountains by Maud Karpeles and Cecil Sharp in 1916-1918, arranged by Vaughan Williams with piano accompaniment in about 1938.  Additionally, there are two English Folk Songs for Voice and Violin. A miscellany of English folk songs includes ‘I Will Give my Love an Apple’ and concludes with a ‘Farmyard Song’ which is difficult to perform without collapsing in laughter. Once again, though Vaughan Williams is well known as a collector of folk songs, his own collection by no means predominates.

Simon Heffer wrote of Volume 1 (October 2020) in the Daily Telegraph: ‘Once the new collection is completed, it will be one of the finest monuments Vaughan Williams could have wanted, and a real jewel in the crown of the RVW Society.’ Gramophone Magazine described it as ‘an absolute must’ and The Times as ‘an absolute tonic and delight.’

Praised by Opera for her “dramatic wit and vocal control”, British soprano Mary Bevan is internationally renowned in baroque, classical and contemporary repertoire, and appears regularly with leading conductors, orchestras and ensembles around the world.

Opera singer Nicky Spence is one of Scotland’s proudest sons and his unique skills as a singing actor and the rare honesty of his musicianship are steadfastly earning him a place at the top of the classical music profession.

Roderick Williams is one of this country’s most sought after baritones and is constantly in demand, encompassing a repertoire from the baroque to world premières. In 2016 he won the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Singer of the Year award.

British violinist Thomas Gould has been described by the Evening Standard as one of the most talented and charismatic British violinists of the younger generation.

A multiple-prize winning and critically acclaimed conductor and accompanist, William Vann is equally at home on the podium or at the piano and is the founder and Artistic Director of the London English Song Festival.

Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust logo
CD front cover

15 World Premières!


The charisma and charm that oozes and enchants its way throughout Albion’s second collection of Vaughan Williams’s Folk Songs is masterfully delivered here.

Fine British music and choice words combine to produce a finely balanced mix in this recording, which depicts RVW at his folklore best.
These are songs of a distinctive craft which will soothe the hardest of souls, once again revealing  the composer’s passion for this genre, beautifully recorded at Henry Wood Hall, London and Potton Hall Suffolk.

Fundamental RVW at its best.

Chris Bye
For British Music Society

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Postage is fixed at £3 per order – to anywhere in the world – irrespective of the number of CDs in the order.


Nine English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachian Mountains (c. 1938, published 1967)

    1. The Rich Old Lady
    2. The Tree in the Wood
    3. Lord Thomas and Fair Ellinor
    4. The Lovers’ Tasks
    5. John Randolph
    6. Fair Margaret and Sweet William
    7. Barbara Ellen
    8. The House Carpenter
    9. The Twelve Apostles

Two English Folk Songs for voice & violin (c 1913, published 1935)

    1. Searching for Lambs
    2. The Lawyer

A Selection of Collected Folk Songs Volume 1 (1917)

    1. Down by the Riverside
    2. I will give my Love an Apple
    3. The Carter
    4. The Painful Plough
    5. My Boy Billy
    6. The Fox
    7. The Female Highwayman
    8. Farmyard Song

Total CD length 56’22.
Tracks 10 and 11 were previously issued on ALBCD029, Purer than Pearl.

Mary Bevan MBE soprano
Nicky Spence tenor
Roderick Williams OBE baritone
Thomas Gould violin

William Vann musical director and pianist

Andrew Walton producer
Deborah Spanton engineer

Henry Wood Hall, London, June 2020.

ALBCD043 Ralph Vaughan Williams: Folk Songs Volume 2
Release Date: 26 March 2021
(CD, downloads, streaming up to 24 bits)