Jennifer Johnston CD Release

Last year, I was very pleased to be asked by the mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston (a fellow Scouser) to contribute two items to her debut disc, a tribute to our home city featuring music written by composers born and/or based in Liverpool. The first is an arrangement of The Leaving of Liverpool, the best known version of which is probably that recorded by The Pogues. The second is an original piece - a setting of Roger McGough's The Gateway to the Atlantic, inscribed upon the wall of the Museum of Liverpool.

The CD will be released on Friday, 27th September and can be pre-ordered here. A full press release follows:


Rubicon Classics RCD1044

Release date 27th September 2019, available on Spotify, Apple Music and Presto Classical

The long-awaited debut solo album of one of the UK’s brightest classical music stars, A Love Letter To Liverpool is Jennifer Johnston’s heartfelt tribute to her home city. She is Artist In Residence with the world-renowned Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, who appear on the disc alongside their Choir, the Liverpool Phil Youth Company, and Alisdair Hogarth, one of the most outstanding pianists of his generation. The disc was recorded at the Friary and the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool, and will be released by Rubicon Classics.

All profits from the album will be donated equally to two outstanding charitable organisations: Alder Hey Children’s Charity supports the work of one of the world’s leading specialist children’s hospitals, and money raised by the album will contribute to the construction of a critically important in-patient mental health unit for under-13’s; and the Liverpool Phil’s Youth Company, which encourages the development of the next generation of young musicians and composers from across Merseyside. Jennifer is especially proud that this album contains the works of seven of the Liverpool Phil’s young composers, all of whom are at the beginning of their careers.

The Liverpool Phil gave Jennifer her first taste of world-class classical music when she joined their choir at the tender age of 15, and so she has come full circle, back to where she started a quarter of a century ago. What a journey it has been. She has travelled the globe and experienced many wonderful places, yet she loves nowhere more than Liverpool: the gateway to the Atlantic, her native land, her beloved city, her home.


Jennifer Johnston - mezzo soprano

Alisdair Hogarth - piano

Matthew Cosgrove - Rubicon Classics

Andrew Cornall - producer

Philip Siney - sound engineer

Ian Watson - editor

Ian Tracey - conductor

Marina Staneva - piano

Ruby Johnston Thomas - treble

Helena Cooke - photography

Martin Cooke - fundraising

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir

Liverpool Phil Youth Company

Steinway & Sons


In My Liverpool Home - Pete McGovern arr. Carmel Smickersgill

Amazing Grace - John Newton arr. Armand Rabot (Liverpool Phil Youth Company)

My Native Land - Charles Ives

Song To The Seals - Granville Bantock

I Saw Three Ships - traditional arr. Grace Evangeline Mason

Sea Fever - John Ireland

The Estuary - Michael Head

The Gateway To The Atlantic - Richard Miller (McGough)

Homeward Bound - traditional sea shanty arr. Marco Galvani

Liverpool Lullaby - Stan Kelly arr. Bethan Morgan-Williams

Johnny Todd - traditional arr. Armand Rabot

What Will They Tell Me Tonight? - Mark Simpson

Madam And Her Madam - Stephen Hough

The World You’re Coming Into - McCartney/Davis

Blackbird - Lennon/McCartney arr. Alisdair Hogarth

A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square - Maschwitz/Sherwin arr. Joshua Quinlan

Danny Boy - Frederic Weatherley arr. Stephen Hough

The Last Rose of Summer - Thomas Moore arr. Benjamin Britten

The Leaving Of Liverpool - traditional arr. Richard Miller

All Our Different Voices - Tim Jackson (Liverpool Phil Youth Company)

You’ll Never Walk Alone - Rogers and Hammerstein (RLPO and RLPC, conducted by Ian Tracey)