This cross-section of English song ranges from the Edwardian aesthetic of Quilter ("Take, o take those lips away") and early Vaughan Williams ("Bright is the ring of words") to the intensely expressive style of Howells ("The little boy lost") and Finzi ("Since we loved"). The Purcell arrangements by Britten (Lord, what is man?; Job's curse) and Tippett (Music for a while) show two great 20th-century composers engaging with their musical heritage.
"These 23 tracks [are] intelligently chosen and not all familiar…. Mehta's gift for mood and atmosphere is heard in the light beauty of Quilter's 'It was a lover and his lass', the sweet melancholy of Gurney's 'Down by the Salley Gardens' or the veiled mystery of Lennox Berkeley's 'The Horseman'. Pianist Julius Drake provides customary alert, expressive accompaniment."—The Guardian
"The counter tenor as a vocal soloist hardly registered for more than a century before the arrival of Alfred Deller in the mid-20th century. But here is American counter tenor Bejun Mehta taking on a survey of 20th-century English song that's mostly from pre-Deller days…. The whistle-stop survey ranges widely, from Stanford, Vaughan Williams, Quilter, Gurney, Warlock, Finzi, Hely-Hutchinson, and Lennox Berkeley to arrangements of Purcell by Britten and Tippett. It grows on you."—Irish Times
"Drake's playing is unfailingly sensitive and beautifully measured."—Classical Review