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When Nicky Spence was first shown the score to ‘The Boy in the Train’, the last of Buxton Orr’s Songs of a Childhood, he was transported to the late 1980s – his own childhood in Scotland. ‘Something about Buxton’s sense of humour, excitement and honesty resonated with me,’ Spence says, ‘and fed my desire to discover more about his work. On contacting his widow, I was led to a treasure trove of unrecorded works for voice.’ Sometimes thrillingly complex and always beautiful, and given character and verve by Orr’s delightful setting of the Scots language, this rich body of work has finally found a worthy modern-day advocate. In his sensitive and intelligent curating of this programme, Spence has brought together artists from Delphian’s roster – pianist Iain Burnside and members of the Edinburgh Quartet enjoy themselves in music that is firmly ‘home ground’.
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"...Performances are first-rate. Tenor Nicky Spence sings with unstinting eloquence and receives characteristically immaculate support from Iain Burnside. The other instrumental contributions are also of the highest quality... Superbly realistic sound and balance, too ..."
Andrew Achenbach - Gramophone magazine - May 2017
"... He [Orr] was a diligent, tuneful, unobtrusively original composer. Nicky Spence is the first singer to record a full disc of his songs and it's a revelation... Spence sound terrific throughout - nimble, playful and expressive." ****
Kate Molleson - The Guardian - 3 March 2017
"...Spence is perfect for this repertoire: his communicative zeal and light, bright tenor matched by Burnside and his colleagues' witty, dynamic playing. Listeners unfamiliar with Orr should start with this fine release from a most enterprising label."
Guy Weatherall - Classical Music magazine - February 2017
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Chandos Records is one of the world's premier classical music record companies, best known for its ground breaking search for neglected musical gems. The company has pioneered the idea of the 'series' and proudly includes series of such composers as Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Parry, Walton, Grainger, Berkeley and Bridge. Renowned for its superb sound quality, Chandos has won many prestigious awards for its natural sound.