Notes from the Asylum

Composers: Abrams, Brahms, Britten, McNeff, Rorem, Wolf
Released: 2016
Label: Champs Hill
Code: CHRCD111


Clare McCaldin (mezzo-soprano), Libby Burgess (piano)

★★★★ “A richly sung, richly imaginative recital. Valuable for McNeff’s 2013 monologue, Vivienne. McCaldin movingly portrays TS Eliot’s wife’s spiral into madness.”
BBC Music Magazine

“…beautifully shaped by McCaldin … both McCaldin and Burgess find just the right pathos.”
“This is a quite remarkable gathering together of songs that evoke so many emotions.”

The Classical Reviewer

“The performances are excellent. Clare McCaldin is superb. The voice is clear, warm … she portrays each character with sensitivity and respect… Libby Burgess plays with wonderful warmth; her playing rounds out at each character’s story.”
American Record Guide

Notes from the Asylum is an exploration of songs about female madness, inspired by the process of commissioning and performing Vivienne – the tale of TS Eliot’s first wife Vivienne Haigh-Wood – from composer Stephen McNeff.

Available to purchase from:
Champs Hill Records – here
Amazon – here


1. Britten, Benjamin [01:46]
Mad Bess
2. Abrams, Harriet [03:11]
Crazy Jane
3. Brahms, Johannes [00:45]
Ophelia Lieder: I. Vie erkenn’ ich dein Treuließ
4. Brahms, Johannes [00:38]
CHRCD111_04_Ophelia Lieder II. Sein Leichenhemd weiss.mp3
5. Brahms, Johannes [01:51]
Ophelia Lieder: III. Auf morgen ist Sankt Valentins Tag
6. Brahms, Johannes [00:58]
Ophelia Lieder: IV. Sie trugen ihn auf der Bahre bloss
7. Brahms, Johannes [01:28]
Ophelia Lieder: V. Und kommt er nicht mehr zuruck?
8. Wolf, Hugo [03:25]
Gedichte von Eduard Morike: I. Agnes
9. Abrams, Harriet [02:42]
Gedichte von Eduard Morike: II. Lied vom Winde
10. Wolf, Hugo [02:41]
Gedichte von Eduard Morike: III. Seufzer
11. Abrams, Harriet [04:27]
Gedichte von Eduard Morike: IV. Wo find’ ich Trost
12. Wolf, Hugo [02:45]
Gedichte von Eduard Morike: V. Gebet
13. Rorem, Ned [02:38]
Ariel: I. Words
14. Rorem, Ned [03:14]
Ariel: II. Poppies in July
15. Rorem, Ned [02:40]
Ariel: III. The Hanging Man
16. Rorem, Ned [02:39]
Ariel: IV. Poppies in October
17. Rorem, Ned [05:57]
Ariel: V. Lady Lazarus
18. McNeff, Stephen [05:58]
Vivienne: I. Before Tom
19. McNeff, Stephen [05:49]
Vivienne: II. Eliot erect
20. McNeff, Stephen [04:56]
Vivienne: III. The Land of Lost Content
21. McNeff, Stephen [04:19]
Vivienne: IV. Bertie
22. McNeff, Stephen [04:45]
Vivienne: V. Through the Darkness I Can Hear
23. McNeff, Stephen [07:46]
Vivienne: VI. Belladonna