Songs of Cricket


Cantabile (also known as ‘The London Quartet’) have been wowing audiences across the world since the 1980s with their shows that blend performance flair, comic timing and a deep passion for high-quality vocal music.

This album is an eclectic tribute to the very British obsession that is cricket, bringing together works from the turn of the century (school songs from Harrow and Eton) to the present day (Jiggery Pokery from the 2009 Ivor Novello nominated album The Duckworth-Lewis Method) – as well as from the well-known (Roy Harper’s When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease) to the obscure (The Summer Game, from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s little-known musical Cricket, commissioned for the Queen’s 60th Birthday). Featuring guest performances from the likes of Richard Stilgoe, Rory Bremner and Tim Rice, this album should prove a must-buy for cricket- and music-fans alike.

“The four voices blend beautifully and there isn’t a sour note to be heard. Diction is consistently crystal clear”  Musicweb (‘Lullabyes and Goodbyes’)


Cantabile – The London Quartet
with Chris Hatt piano and Alexander L’Estrange piano

Richard Stilgoe
Eliza Lumley
Rory Bremner
and Tim Rice

Release date:25th Jul 2011
Order code:SIGCD217
Barcode: 635212021729

An absolute riot for cricket fans, this is quite extraordinary collection of cricket music, including a Village Rondo for piano by Matthew Hoist, great-grandfather of Gustav, believe it or not. Why included? Because the sheet music bears a village scene including cricket match, thought to be the earliest image uniting music and the great game.

There are medleys of tv/radio cricket themes, school songs and Australian cricket ditties. Richard Stilgoe is in fabulous form, providing the best laughs of all in numbers such as Lillian Thomson, The Barmy Army and Andy Flower Duet (hilariously borrowing from Lakme’s Flower Duet).

An Arvo Part-inspired setting of that best-selling tea towel The Ins and Outs of Cricket is good fun, and although singing The Rules of Cricket to Havergal’s haunting psalm chant is hardly a new idea, it goes down well enough in the mix. Australian sales may be boosted by the Hannon/Walsh number Jiggery-Pokery, recalling that Ball of the Century by which Shane Warne disposed of Mike Gatting (ouch!) at Old Trafford back in 1993.

All this plus contributions from chanteuse Eliza Lumley and Rory Bremner in a talk-on part, reliving famous phrases from famous commentaries, plus a re enactment of the never ever to be forgotten Test Match Special ‘corpsing commentators’ episode originally featuring Brian Johnston and Jonathan Agnew – just as side-splitting here.

Everywhere the London Quartet expend gallons of good-humoured gusto in the cause (which incidentally will benefit the Lord’s Taverners charity, helping disabled and disadvantaged children).

Good, detailed sleeve note/texts material add to the pleasure of an album whose release richly deserved the 2011 Indian Summer.

5 Stars

Choral Music Guide 2012, Andrew Green

  1. Cricket Theme Medley – Various, arr. Alexander L?Estrange –
  2. The Cricketers of Hambledon – Bruce Blunt / Peter Warlock –
  3. School Songs Medley (five school songs) – Various –
  4. The Summer Game ? from Cricket (Hearts and Wickets) – Tim Rice / Andrew Lloyd Webber –
  5. Lillian Thomson – Richard Stilgoe –
  6. Radnage Cricket Song (Bucks. folk song) – Traditional, collected by Horace Harman –
  7. Four Jolly Bowlers – The Yetties –
  8. The Rules of Cricket ? A Psalm Chant – Narine Zarifyan –
  9. You?ve Got to be a Cricket Hero (to Get Along with the Beautiful Girls) – Al Sherman / Buddy Fields / Al Lewis and Fred Tupper / Cliff Nichols –
  10. Jiggery Pokery – Neil Hannon / Thomas Walsh –
  11. Village Rondo – Matthew Holst, arr. Chris Hatt –
  12. Eton and Winchester – R.T. Warner / F.S. Kelly –
  13. I Made a Hundred in the Backyard at Mum?s – Greg Champion –
  14. Australian Cricket Medley – Various –
  15. The Barmy Army – Richard Stilgoe –
  16. That?s Not Cricket ? from At Home Abroad – Howard Dietz / Arthur Schwartz –
  17. Cricket Tea Towel: The Ins and Outs of Cricket – Anon. / The London Quartet –
  18. Andy Flower Duet – Richard Stilgoe / L?o Delibes –
  19. Jerusalem – Richard Stilgoe / C. Hubert Parry –
  20. When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease – Roy Harper –
  21. ?Stop it, Aggers!? – Rory Bremner –