The Sky Shall be Our Roof

Rare songs from the operas of Ralph Vaughan Williams

When Vaughan Williams decided in 1909 that he wished to write an opera with a ‘prize fight’ at its heart he began an operatic journey that would last until the early 1950s. His boxing idea became Hugh the Drover, first performed in 1924. Five more operas were to follow: The Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains (1922), Sir John in Love (1929), Riders to the Sea (1936), The Poisoned Kiss (1936) and his operatic masterpiece The Pilgrim’s Progress (1951-2).

The Sky Shall be our Roof
Here’s a fine launch for Albion – altogether recommendable
BBC Music Magazine
December 2007

A quite lovely debut disc from a new label, Albion Records; The rare songs include many recorded firsts… some gorgeous and imaginative singing
Gramophone, Editor’s Choice
March 2008

The songs here have been transcribed for piano accompaniment by Vaughan Williams himself, and the majority are première recordings. Immediately striking is the purity of the singing on the disc. Roderick Williams is no stranger to Vaughan Williams, having made several recordings for Chandos. The other soloists… appear to be just as much at home in the repertoire. There are two duets on this disc (Ah! Love I’ve found you andHugh my lover) sung here by Sarah Fox and Andrew Staples – both pieces are simply beautiful. The voices weave around each other, creating the amorous mood that the text dictates. Iain Burnside’s piano accompaniment is spot-on throughout, sensitively capturing the variety of moods.
Ruth Squire
McAlister Matheson Music

These songs from three operas are most enjoyable and an indispensable supplement to your RVW songs shelf. The strong and responsive singing is most sensitively done.
Rob Barnett
Musicweb International

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Ten Songs from Hugh the Drover

  • Cold Blows the Wind on Cotsall
  • Life must be full of Care
  • Sweet Little Linnet
  • Hugh’s Song of the Road
  • Ah! Love I’ve found You
  • The Devil and Bonyparty
  • Alone and friendless
  • Gaily I go to Die
  • Here on my throne
  • Hugh my Lover

Two songs from Sir John in Love

  • Greensleeves
  • See the Chariot at hand

Seven Songs from The Pilgrim’s Progress

  • Watchful’s Song (Nocturne)
  • The Song of the Pilgrims
  • The Pilgrim’s Psalm
  • The Song of the Leaves of Life and Water of Life
  • The Song of Vanity Fair
  • The Woodcutter’s Song
  • The Bird’s Song

Sarah Fox soprano
Juliette Pochin mezzo-soprano
Andrew Staples tenor
Roderick Williams baritone
Iain Burnside piano

Catalogue Number: ALB001
Release Date: 01 October 2007