About the album
British soprano Sarah Fox makes her solo recording debut with songs by Broadway songwriting legend Cole Porter. Accompanied by pianist and arranger James Burton, highlights include ‘In the Still of the Night’, ‘I’ve got you Under My Skin’ and ‘I get a Kick out of You’. “We have collected what we think is a representative spread of Porter’s incredibly varied output, including some lesser known numbers which we think stand up alongside the others, and shed yet more complimentary light on Porter’s outstanding talent for combining melody, text and wit.” (James Burton)
12In the still of the night
14What is this thing called love?
15You do something to me
16My heart belongs to Daddy
17I get a kick out of you
18Where would you get your coat?
110So in love
112Miss Otis regrets
113I’ve got you under my skin
114The tale of the oyster
115You’d be so nice to come home to
116Night and day
117Don’t fence me in
119Brush up your Shakespeare
120Ev’ry time we say goodbye
I knew Cole Porter songs long before I knew who Cole Porter was. My parents met at London University in the swinging sixties and Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra were their number one loves. They still have their records with the shillings and pence markings in the corner! I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t aware of this music but I first really increased my knowledge of his vast repertoire when I went to University and had my own CD player and freedom to spend at HMV! Although the subsequent path I took was geared much more towards opera and the classical world, I have never stopped listening to these wonderful songs: they are timeless and speak to everybody, whatever their background or generation, and I love them as much as I love anybody else’s music. I hope you enjoy our interpretations of them and will be encouraged to have a go at singing them yourselves!
Sarah and I met when we were teenagers singing in choirs, and we have made music of one sort or another together regularly ever since. The Cole Porter Songbook idea came about when we needed to fill in a late night concert at fairly short notice. Sarah and I had been performing this sort of music together informally for years for friends and family, and this was a chance to see if it could stand up as a ‘proper’ concert. I’d known a lot of these songs since childhood, but during my more classical music career I had only periodically had opportunities to play and sing them. Sarah has sung serious classical music in some of the world’s leading opera houses and concert halls. But she has always performed lighter music too, not least appearing alongside Sir Thomas Allen in that unforgettable MGM musicals BBC Prom with John Wilson in 2009.
Over the last three years we have performed the Songbook in venues and festivals all over the UK and we’ve had a terrific response, not least when we invite the audience to join in singing some of the songs with us. We’ve both been pleasantly surprised just how quick audiences are to dust off their vocal chords and share our renditions of some of the most well known Porter songs. Given the
(understandable) formality of most classical song recitals, the concert has acquired a looser feel and we hope to have captured the same atmosphere on the record. We both hope that you enjoy singing along with us.
We have collected what we think is a representative spread of Porter’s incredibly varied output. Inevitably we perform many of the most familiar standards, and I have enjoyed the challenge of creating our own versions of those well-worn musical paths. But we have also had the opportunity to include some lesser known numbers which we think stand up alongside the others, and shed yet more complimentary light on Porter’s outstanding talent for combining melody, text and wit.
We recorded the album as we approached the 50th anniversary of Porter’s death in October 2014, and this seemed a natural moment for us to celebrate both an incredible song writing talent in Porter, and also to celebrate a musical friendship and collaboration which has been a constant for Sarah and I for over twenty years.