The Nursery

Songs of Childhood

Sandra Lissenden (soprano)
Katharine Durran (piano)

To order this disc

Sandra Lissenden
Katharine Durran



"This is such music as a child of five might write, had he the technical equipment of a grownup." So wrote one admirer of Mussorgsky's The Nursery, the work which forms the heart of this collection; it is here given (for the first time on disc) in an English translation which fully conveys the immediacy and charm of these extraordinary songs.

The anthology opens with the classic "Christopher Robin" favourite Halfway Down the Stairs, and there are three further groups of these perfectly crafted gems composed by H. Fraser-Simson in the 1920s. The phrases "They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace", "Could we have some butter for the royal slice of bread?" and "James James Morrison Morrison" are for many of us eternally etched in the memory of childhood. All these and a dozen more favourites with words by A.A.Milne (from When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six) are here.

The threshold of a modern era is touched upon in Thea Musgrave's A Suite o' Bairnsangs, to poems by Maurice Lindsay. Each of these five tiny songs has its own questing charm and perfection.

Six of Edward German's 1903 settings of Kipling's Just So poems are performed here. They include the extrovert Rolling Down to Rio, the sentimental First Friend and the virtuosic When the Cabin Portholes.








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Sandra Lissenden & Katharine Durran have been delighting audiences together for over 15 years. With experience of all London's major recital halls, tours of village halls from the Channel Islands and the Outer Hebrides to Somerset and Lincolnshire, literally hundreds of performances in schools and hospitals, and now with five young children between them, they bring a joyous enthusiasm to these most treasured of songs.