Written at the request of Elizabeth II for the occasion of the Queen Mother’s 75th birthday, this late jewel in Britten’s song output sets seven poems by Robert Burns for tenor (or high voice) and harp. These intimate settings were first performed privately at Sandringham, opening with a vibrant toast to the “Hieland chief”, and closing with Leezie Lindsay, a vigorous dance; My Hoggie and The Winter offer detours into melancholy. “Each song”, the Daily Telegraph wrote in 1976, “and each linking harp interlude has its touches of mastery.”