Hebrides Ensemble "John Bevan Baker Songs of Courtship" HDCD

Hebrides Ensemble "John Bevan Baker Songs of Courtship" HDCD

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This disc affords the listener a unique opportunity to explore fascinating and uncharted waters of twentieth-century British music. The majority of works date from the 1980s and early 90s, and were written during the time the composer spent in Fortrose, on the Black Isle in northern Scotland.

 'Certainly worth knowing.' Classic FM Magazine

Songs of Courtship were set to music by Bevan Baker in 1992 for the Black Isle Singers. The poems, written by Mao Shih in the 7th century BC, were translated from the Ancient Chinese in 1946 by Arthur Waley. John loved them and maintained that they had ‘a simple directness which could have been written Yesterday'.

The courtship songs, richly imaginative, vary greatly in metre and in their treatment of the enigmatic oriental lyrics, some being lightfooted, some more robust, always rhythmically challenging. The ‘Wedding Song' is a triumphant, rejoicing finale.


  1. Songs of Courtship: No. 1, Out in the Bushlands
  2. Songs of Courtship: No. 2, In the Lowlands
  3. Songs of Courtship: No. 3, Plop Fall the Plums
  4. Songs of Courtship: No. 4, A Very Handsome Gentleman
  5. Songs of Courtship: No. 5, Of Fair Girls the Loveliest
  6. Songs of Courtship: No. 6, The Cock Has Crowed
  7. Songs of Courtship: No. 7, Shu Is Away
  8. Songs of Courtship: No. 8, A Moon Rising
  9. Songs of Courtship: No. 9, Outside the Eastern Gate
  10. Songs of Courtship: No. 10, If Along the Highroad
  11. Songs of Courtship: No. 11, By the Willows of the Eastern Gate
  12. Songs of Courtship: No. 12, I Brought My Great Carriage
  13. Songs of Courtship: No. 13, Wedding Song. My Lord Is All Aglow
  14. Duo for Oboe and Cello
  15. Piano Suite: I. March
  16. Piano Suite: II. Jig
  17. Piano Suite: III. Intermezzo
  18. Piano Suite: IV. Berceuse
  19. Piano Suite: V. Finale
  20. Spring
  21. Triptych
  22. A Song for Kate
  23. Eclogue
  24. Rorate coeli desuper