The album is of French songs for voice and ensemble. Kicking off with Duparc’s luscious Chanson triste, the rest of the album launches in February 2023 with a full programme researched by leading French poetry and song expert, the University of Birmingham’s Professor Helen Abbott. Listen now on Spotify.

Mary Bevan album cover

Helen says: ‘This is the first time we get to hear some of the songs in this way – with all the textures of an instrumental ensemble. We have sourced rare original nineteenth-century manuscripts by composers themselves and commissioned new arrangements. Working closely with Mary in designing the programme, we sifted through a lot of repertoire looking at different poems and songs, to bring the best of what is out there. The songs really open up ideas from the heart, and the realities of our human instincts, our emotional lives, our experiences of difficult relationships or past loves, and our hopes for the future. The musical language is quite extraordinary.’

The album is now available for pre-order (released 17 February 2023).