SOMM Recordings announces the launch of a major three-volume series devoted to the rich and varied songs of Stephen Dodgson on the eve of the 10th anniversary of his death in 2013, aged 89. Volume 1, The Peasant Poet, features tenor James Gilchrist, baritone Roderick Williams, soprano Ailish Tynan and mezzo-soprano Katie Bray, accompanied by Christopher Glynn (piano), Mark Eden (guitar) and Ian Wilson (recorder). Son of the Symbolist painter John Arthur Dodgson and a distant cousin of Lewis Carroll, Stephen Dodgson was a prolific composer with a notable focus on works for guitar, harpsichord and recorder. Although neglected, his more than 100 songs are a substantial and defining part of his output. Composed in 1961, 'The Peasant Poet' from Four Poems of John Clare, settings of the troubled and travailed poet, gives Volume 1 it's title. Contrastingly, 1950's Tideways sets four poems by the idiosyncratic Ezra Pound. The six songs from Dodgson's 1998 Second Series of Australian Bush Ballads "makes use of his own melodic style, graceful, elegant or sharply original and witty... with expressive accompaniments, sometimes simple, sometimes richly chromatic", as John Warrack comments in his booklet notes, supplemented by Robert Matthew-Walker's informative note on Dodgson's style. Writing in his native Gaelige, Irish playwright and political activist Joseph Campbell prompted 1949's Irishry, the late The Monk and His Cat from 2004 returning to Ireland to animatedly set a playful ninth-century text. Seven other songs, drawn from a variety of sources and voiced with appropriate individuality, complete a recital that eloquently argues for Dodgson's place amongst the best of modern British art-song composers.