Home | Reviews | Articles | Festivals | Competitions | Other | Contact Us

Ronald Stevenson - Songs


Susan Hamilton (soprano) John Cameron (piano)
Delphian DCD 34006


17 settings of Robert Louis Stevenson
and 18 songs to the
lyric Scots poetry of Hugh MacDiarmid, Sorley MacLean & William Soutar

1. A Child's Garden of Verses

• I. Dedication

• II. Bed in Summer

• III. The Land of Nod

• IV. Time to Rise

• V. Singing

• VI. Rain

• VII. Windy Nights

• VIII. Shadow March

 IX. My Shadow

• X. Fairy Bread

• XI. The Swing

• XII. Summer Sun

• XIII. From a Railway Carriage

• XIV. Autumn Fires

• XV. When the golden day is done

• XVI. The Lamplighter

• XVII. Envoy

2. Traighean (Shores)
3. The Robber
4. Hill Sang
5. The Gaelic Muse

6. The Buckie Braes

7. The Quiet Comes In

8. The Bobbin-Winder

9. To the Future

10. O Wha's the Bride

11. Trompe L'Oeil

12. The Bonny Broukit Bairn

13. Fairytales

14. Hallowe'en Sang

15. The Plum Tree

16. The Day is Dyne

17. The Rose of All the World

18. The Droll Wee Man

19. A'e Gowden Lyric

A generation ago, Scottish nationalism was a political joke; now the definition of who is allowed to be Scottish in a new independent state gets seriously discussed. And yes, those who have adopted Scotland as their place of residence include composers such as Stevenson and Marcus Blunt - both of whom have been extensively championed in recordings by pianist Murray McLachlan.


Neither Stevenson (born in Blackburn) nor Blunt started out with a palette of Scottish colours, as is evidenced in their work. In both cases, settling in the Borders has allowed a powerful influence both from the landscape and traditional Scottish themes.

This delightful disc of Stevenson's songs is one result. Most of the poets set were personally known to Stevenson, though not his namesake, where Stevenson was commissioned to write some songs for the poet's 100 th ‘birthday'; Stevenson the composer's sympathy with Hugh MacDiarmid is especially obvious. As the booklet suggests,
Hamilton 's light soprano voice is well suited to the children's songs; John Cameron is sensitive and adept as an accompanist. The ‘title song,' a'e gowden lyric , is the last track and extremely attractive, though the energy and riotous movement of The Buckie Braes is also very winning.


Artistically, this is a fine advertisement for the energy of contemporary Scottish culture. There are the usual excellent production values and the Delphian disc can be recommended without hesitation.


Ying Chang