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The first in a projected four-CD series begins with “Sea Fever” – the best-known song by John Ireland (1879-1962), the English composer who played an influential part in interwar British musical life. Next to this and two other John Masefield settings are a selection of Ireland’s A.E. Housman and Rupert Brooke songs, underpinning his reputation as a master of poignant sentiment and gentle melody.

The CD includes premiere recordings of five attractive pre-1914 ballads that Ireland published under a pseudonym. Despite some awkwardness at the top, Stone’s baritone proves a lively and expressive guide, ably partnered by Kynoch.

Ireland

The Complete Songbook Volume 1

Mark Stone/Sholto Kynoch

(Stone Records)

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