There was a legendary choir that is no longer together called the Boys Air Choir and they had, among their many great recordings, one CD that is already becoming scarce.
Blue Bird is one of those albums that should be on every collector’s shelf. The title song and most of the others on this CD were written by Charles Villiers Stanford, the prolific Irish composer who wrote the well-known Magnificat in G, which is also performed wonderfully on this album.
The song Blue Bird is a poem by Mary Coleridge that was set to music by Stanford. It’s a pretty poem and the music makes it more special.
The lake lay blue below the hill,
O'er it, as I looked, there flew
Across the waters, cold and still,
A bird whose wings were palest blue.
The sky above was blue at last,
The sky beneath me blue in blue,
A moment, ere the bird had passed,
It caught his image as he flew.
There are videos of this performance on Youtube.
Sleepsong was written by Michael Mcglynn of the group Anuna, who also (I believe) recorded Blue Bird. For some reason I get a kick out of hearing the old languages like Irish and Scotch Gaelic and this song has sections of Irish that sound mysterious and beautiful.
The cover of the CD is one of my all-time favorites showing a young boy wrapped in a mystical aura of light and holding a glowing white ball that floats above his hands.
All of the boys were principal soloists from Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s and Salisbury Cathedral. This is their second album. Connor Burrowes, the oldest of several talented brothers, is choir master on this one and two of his brothers, Patrick and Edward, sing. Andrew Johnson is very young on this CD, but I will say more about this group at a later time. They deserve a big post.