Ina Boyle: Songs

In lifelong seclusion in rural County Wicklow, Ina Boyle created a legacy of song – tender, often melancholy, illuminated by an exquisite sense for harmony. ‘I think it is most courageous of you to go on with such little recognition,’ wrote Vaughan Williams to his pupil. ‘The only thing to say is that it does come finally.’

Amid the 2020 pandemic, Iain Burnside gathered three superb Irish singers at London’s Wigmore Hall. Recorded in less than five hours, the resulting 80 minutes of music unveil a composer who is one of Ireland’s ‘invisible heroines’.

Half a century after Boyle’s death, is Vaughan Williams’s prediction at last coming true?

"Recorded in an empty Wigmore Hall last autumn, this is a real box of delights – the Irish composer emerges as a hugely versatile voice and a natural melodist, characterising de la Mare’s ‘Mad Prince’ and E.L. Twiss’s itinerant fiddler with equal aplomb. The real stand-outs, though, are the two lullabies (‘Sleep Song’ and ‘A Mountain Woman Asks for Quiet That Her Child May Sleep’) and the dialogue ‘Have You Heard News of My Boy Jack?’, sung with moving eloquence by Murrihy and McAteer"


September 2021

"Ina Boyle could scarcely have wished for better advocacy than her songs receive here ... Iain Burnside has joined forces here with a fine trio of singers – fittingly, all three of them are Irish. The singing is first rate throughout, as is Burnside’s pianism; all four musicians demonstrate complete commitment to the cause ... These are mature and excellent performances and, furthermore they have been expertly recorded by producer Paul Baxter and engineer Darius Weinberg. As is usual with Delphian, the documentation is excellent. Orla Shannon’s essay is full of information about this unfamiliar composer"


read the full review here

"A feat of lockdown music-making: really extraordinary ... these are such committed performances, from Burnside in particular: he's doing so much expressive heavy lifting throughout this disc ... Overall, there's a lovely mix of fast songs which are really good fun.

A fascinating introduction to a really unfamiliar musical figure"


"These performances not only reflect the beauty of the composer’s writing but also the care and attention with which the artists respond to her music. The singers also bring a welcome air of spontaneity to their interpretations that give Ina Boyle’s somewhat rhapsodic style a feeling of unimpeded movement ... there is much to engage one in the drama and delicacy of these settings"

"This new album of 33 of her songs comes from a team of leading Irish singers and Scottish pianist Iain Burnside ...They do the high-inertia, pared-back songs proud"

Release Date: 27 August 2021
Catalogue No: DCD34264

Recorded live on 29 October 2020 at Wigmore Hall, London by kind permission of John Gilhooly, Artistic and Executive Director, Wigmore Hall
Producer: Paul Baxter
Recording engineer: Darius Weinberg

Assistant engineer: Tom Wright
24-bit digital editing: Polly Gamble
24-bit digital mastering: Paul Baxter
Piano: Steinway model D, serial number 597411

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