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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Helen Habershon and John Lenehan: Found in Dreams

You’re always on safe ground with Helen Habershon, who writes music for people to enjoy, and not expend any energy “getting into”. This new album is lovely, the title perhaps giving a clue as to the gentle nature of the music.

Her approachable sound is obviously onto something: this is her fourth album, with one receiving album of the month and two being albums of the week on Classic FM; this one was named discovery of the week by John Brunning on Classic FM and album of the weekend by Scala Radio.

Track 17 is the famous Largo from Dvorák’s Symphony No.9, familiar to everyone in the UK as the Hovis music. That gives you an idea of the general rustic peacefulness of the album, although the track that follows is Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano Con Brio, by Joseph Horovitz, a lively and jazzy track (as con brio might suggest).

It’s not all other people’s music: while the CD opens with Après un Rêve (Gabriel Fauré, arr Lenehan), a rendition of the tale of a romantic flight with a lover, it is followed by Yesterday’s Dreams (Habershon) and Dreaming of Summer (Lenehan), neither of which stand out as not by a more famous composer (Schumann, Debussy, Elgar, Johannes Brahms and Finzi also feature).

It’s a great early morning or late night programme and Habershon writes on the sleeve: “‘I hope this album will enable the listener to take time off from the constant goings-on of their lives and dream with the music.”

Found in Dreams is out on Divine Art, DDA 25225.

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