A Most Marvellous Party: Noel Coward and Friends Mary Bevan, Nicky Spence, Joseph Middleton
Label: Signum Records
Composer: Ned Rorem (1923), Francis Poulenc (1899-1963), Kurt Weill (1900-1950), Andre Messager (1853-1929), Eric Satie (1866-1925), Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971), Roger Quilter (1877-1953), George Gershwin (1898-1937), Benjamin Britten(1913-1976), Sir William Walton (1902-1983), Noël Coward (1899-1973)
Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)
- Noël Coward (1899 - 1973):
- 1Coward: I’ll See You Again / Dance Little Lady / Poor Little Rich Girl / A Room With A View / Someday I’ll Find You / I’ll Follow My Secret Heart / If Love Were All / Play Orchestra Play05:25
- 2Coward: Mad About the Boy05:20
- Ned Rorem (1923 - 2022):
- 3Rorem: Early in the Morning01:58
- 4Rorem: For Poulenc03:00
- Francis Poulenc (1899 - 1963):
- 5Poulenc: 3 Pièces, FP 48: No. 1, Pastorale. Calme et Mystérieux02:50
- 6Poulenc: Banalités, FP 107: No. 2, Hôtel01:49
- Noël Coward:
- 7Coward: Parisian Pierrot02:17
- Kurt Weill (1900 - 1950):
- 8Weill: Complainte de la Seine04:13
- André Messager (1853 - 1929):
- 9Messager: Véronique: De-ci, de là02:14
- Eric Satie (1866 - 1925):
- 10Satie: Gnossiennes: No. 1, Lent03:00
- Noël Coward:
- 11Coward: Any Little Fish02:50
- Igor Stravinsky (1882 - 1971):
- 12Stravinsky: Valse Pour les Enfants00:44
- Noël Coward:
- 13Coward: Something to do with Spring02:36
- Roger Quilter (1877 - 1953):
- 14Quilter: Love Calls Through the Summer Night04:52
- 15Quilter: Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal02:13
- Ned Rorem:
- 16Rorem: Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal03:44
- Noël Coward:
- 17Coward: World Weary / Twentieth Century Blues04:25
- George Gershwin (1898 - 1937):
- 18Gershwin: The Man I Love02:24
- Noël Coward:
- 19Coward: If Love Were all04:00
- George Gershwin:
- 20Gershwin: By Strauss03:34
- Noël Coward:
- 21Coward: Don't Put Your Daughter on the Stage, Mrs Worthington02:48
- Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976):
- 22Britten: When You're Feeling Like Expressing Your Affection00:37
- William Walton (1902 - 1983):
- 23Walton: Popular Song02:02
- Benjamin Britten:
- 24Britten: On This Island, Op. 11: No. 5, As it is, Plenty01:34
- Liza Lehmann (1862 - 1918):
- 25Lehmann: Love, if You Knew the Light01:26
- Noël Coward:
- 26Coward: The Party's Over Now02:53
- 27Coward: I Went to a Marvellous Party02:30
Info for A Most Marvellous Party: Noel Coward and Friends
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Noel Coward, celebrated musicians and regular Signum artists Mary Bevan, Nicky Spence and Joseph Middleton join forces for this album of works by Noel Coward and his contemporaries.
Featuring songs such as Parisian Pierrot and The Man I Love, the album comprises of a collection of solos, duets and instrumental songs by composers such as Ned Rorem, Liza Lehmann, William Walton and Benjamin Britten.
"The selection of songs made here by soprano Mary Bevan and tenor Nicky Spence, with shimmering, Jeeves-like accompaniment from pianist Joseph Middleton, includes a number of composers who are way out of period but still in the mood. Benjamin Britten and William Walton barely belong to this crew and Ned Rorem can only squeak in because his attitudes so closely mirrored Coward’s. Francis Poulenc is pitch-perfect as is the insidious Englishman Roger Quilter. Each is given full value by a pair of opera singers who are plainly having a ball, to which you are cordially invited." (myscena.org)
British soprano Mary Bevan, winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist award and the UK Critics’ Circle Award for Exceptional Young Talent in Music, will take to the stage to demonstrate her “dramatic wit and vocal control”, for which she was rightly praised by ‘Opera’ magazine. Her partner for the evening is the tenor Nicky Spence, one of Scotland’s proudest sons. A compelling singing-actor, Nicky was named BBC Music Magazine Personality of the Year 2022 and will undoubtedly bring pizzazz to the evening’s entertainment. Accompanying these two dazzling singers is the equally-talented pianist Joseph Middleton, known as “one of the brightest stars in the world of song…” (BBC Music Magazine).
Mary Bevan, soprano
Nicky Spence, tenor
Joseph Middleton, piano
read Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at Trinity College, Cambridge, before training at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She became an Associate Artist of Classical Opera in 2010, and is a winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist award and the UK Critics’ Circle Award for Exceptional Young Talent in Music.
Her opera roles include Susanna (The Marriage of Figaro), Despina (Così fan tutte), Papagena (The Magic Flute), Yum-Yum (The Mikado), Second Niece (Peter Grimes) and Rebecca (in the world première of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys) for English National Opera, where she is a Harewood Artist, Gerechtigkeit (Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots), Tamiri (Il re pastore), Servilia (La clemenza di Tito) and Emma (Thomas Arne’s Alfred) for Classical Opera, Zerlina (Don Giovanni) for Garsington Opera, Belinda (Dido and Aeneas) for The English Concert, and – for The Royal Opera – Music/ Euridice (Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo) at the Roundhouse and the title role in Luigi Rossi’s Orpheus at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.
Her extensive concert engagements have included Bellezza (Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno) with the Dunedin Consort, a Handel residency with Emanuelle Haïm at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, and Handel’s Messiah with The English Concert and the English Chamber Orchestra, and she has appeared at the BBC Proms, Edinburgh International Festival, Spitalfields Festival and Oxford Lieder Festival. Her recordings include ‘Handel in Italy’ with London Early Opera for Signum Classics, Handel’s The Triumph of Time and Truth and Ode for Saint Cecilia’s Day with Ludus Baroque for Delphian Records, and Ludwig Thuille songs with Joseph Middleton and Mendelssohn songs with Malcolm Martineau, both for Champs Hill Records.
specializes in the art of song accompaniment and chamber music and has been highly acclaimed in this field. Described in Opera Magazine as ‘the rightful heir to legendary accompanist Gerald Moore’, by BBC Music Magazine as ‘one of the brightest stars in the world of song and Lieder’, he has also been labeled ‘the cream of the new generation’ by The Times. He is Director of Leeds Lieder, Musician in Residence and a Bye Fellow at Pembroke College, Cambridge and a Fellow of his alma mater, the Royal Academy of Music, where he is also a Professor. He was the first accompanist to win the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist Award.
Joseph is a frequent guest at major music centres including London’s Wigmore Hall (where he has been a featured artist), Royal Opera House and Royal Festival Hall, New York’s Alice Tully Hall and Park Avenue Armory, Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Konzerthaus and Musikverein Vienna, Zürich Tonhalle, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, Berlin BoulezSaal, Kölner Philharmonie, Strasbourg, Frankfurt, Lille and Gothenburg Opera Houses, Baden- Baden, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Musée d’Orsay Paris, Oji Hall Tokyo and Festivals in Aix-en-Provence, Aldeburgh, Barcelona, Schloss Elmau, Edinburgh, Munich, Ravinia, San Francisco, Schubertiade Hohenems and Schwarzenberg, deSingel, Soeul, Stuttgart, Toronto and Vancouver.
He made his BBC Proms debut in 2016 alongside Iestyn Davies and Carolyn Sampson and returned in 2018 alongside Dame Sarah Connolly where they premiered recently discovered songs by Benjamin Britten.
Joseph enjoys recitals with internationally established singers including Sir Thomas Allen, Louise Alder, Mary Bevan, Ian Bostridge, Allan Clayton, Dame Sarah Connolly, Marianne Crebassa, Iestyn Davies, Fatma Said, Samuel Hasselhorn, Christiane Karg, Katarina Karnéus, Angelika Kirchschlager, Dame Felicity Lott, Christopher Maltman, John Mark Ainsley, Ann Murray DBE, James Newby, Mark Padmore, Mauro Peter, Miah Persson, Sophie Rennert, Ashley Riches, Dorothea Röschmann, Kate Royal, Carolyn Sampson, Nicky Spence and Roderick Williams.
He has a special relationship with BBC Radio 3, frequently curating his own series and performing alongside the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists. His critically acclaimed and fast-growing discography has seen him awarded a Diapason D’or, Edison Award and Priz Caecilia as well as receiving numerous nominations for Gramophone, BBC Music Magazines and International Classical Music Awards. His interest in the furthering of the song repertoire has led Gramophone Magazine to describe him as ‘the absolute king of programming’.
is one of Scotland’s proudest sons and his unique skills as a singing actor and the rare honesty of his musicianship have earned him a place at the top of the classical music profession. Nicky won a record contract with Decca records while still studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and then took a place as an inaugural Harewood Artist at the ENO. Nicky has recorded prolifically and won both the BBC Music Magazine Vocal Award and Gramophone's Solo Vocal Award for his recording of Janáček's 'The Diary of One Who Disappeared' with Julius Drake. Other solo recordings include recital discs with Malcolm Martineau for Chandos and Resonus, and Strauss lieder with Roger Vignoles for Hyperion and his discography ranges from Handel and Mozart to Wagner, Brahms, Britten, Dove and Turnage. He has sung operatic roles at London’s Royal Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Staatsoper, Opera national de Paris, Madrid's Teatro Real, La Monnaie and the Glyndebourne Festival. Nicky Spence's unique skills as a singing actor and the rare honesty of his musicianship have earned him a place at the top of the classical music profession. Nicky won a record contract with Decca records while still studying at the GSMD and then took a place as an inaugural Harewood Artist at the ENO. He has recorded prolifically and won both the BBC Music Magazine Vocal Award and Gramophone's Solo Vocal Award for his recording of Janáček's 'The Diary of One Who Disappeared' with Julius Drake. Other solo recordings include recital discs with Malcolm Martineau for Chandos and Resonus, and Strauss lieder with Roger Vignoles for Hyperion and his discography ranges from Handel and Mozart to Wagner, Brahms, Britten, Dove and Turnage. He has sung operatic roles at London’s Royal Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Staatsoper, Opera national de Paris, Madrid's Teatro Real, La Monnaie and the Glyndebourne Festival.