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Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

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Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


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summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
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DIETHELM Symphonies

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Noël COWARD (1899-1973)
Ian Bostridge sings (Arrangements by Corin Buckeridge)
I Travel Alone (1934)
Parisian Pierrot (London Calling – 1923)
Poor Little Rich Girl (On with the Dance - 1925)
World Weary (This Year of Grace - New York Production – 1928)
Mary Make-Believe (This Year of Grace)
A Room with a View (This Year of Grace)
Dance, Little Lady (This Year of Grace)
If You Could Only Come with Me (Bitter Sweet – 1929)
I’ll See You Again (Bitter Sweet)
Zigeuner (Bitter Sweet)
The Dream is Over (1928)
Any Little Fish (Cochran’s 1931 Review)
Twentieth Century Blues (Cavalcade – 1931)
Mad Dogs and English Men (Words and Music – 1932)
Let’s Say Goodbye (Words and Music)
Something to do With Spring (Words and Music)
The Party’s Over (Words and Music)
Someday I’ll Find You (Private Lives - 1930)
Never Again (Set to Music – 1939)
Ian Bostridge (tenor)
Sophie Daneman (soprano)
Jeffrey Tate (piano)
rec. EMI Studio No. 1, Abbey Road, October and November 2001
EMI CLASSICS ENCORE 5090192 [63:13]


Experience Classicsonline

‘Cross-over’ albums are generally frowned upon. Those that follow classical artists cringe at the efforts of their idols to ‘dumb-down’ their art for commercial purposes. Those that sit on the other side of the fence reject the patronising efforts of well paid star artists to ‘formalise’ their repertoire. Someone really should have drawn the line nearly 25 years ago when Bernstein recorded his tragically miscast West Side Story with Carreras and Te Kanawa.

There is certainly something about Ian Bostridge that suggests an affinity with Noel Coward. That image of a fey, young Englishman, excellent with words, gives us some hope. But the reality is somewhat different. Having seen this particular artist in concert performing Schubert, I have to confess to finding him aloof, overly formal and most definitely unsuitable for repertoire such as that represented on this disc.

One example will suffice. In ‘Poor Little Rich Girl’ Bostridge sounds so ill at ease with the word ‘jazz’ that you seriously begin to consider whether he actually knows anything about that particular genre.

Plus sides? Well it is certainly good to hear this neglected repertoire sung with such a fine voice. Jeffrey Tate makes a sadly rare appearance as accompanist and does a lovely job.

Unfortunately this was a project doomed from the start. We really need to cease believing that the ‘classical’ industry can ‘improve’ musical theatre numbers by virtue of fine voices. It didn’t work with that West Side Story album and it certainly doesn’t work here. There is musical theatre repertoire out there that would sit well with Bostridge; why doesn’t someone record him in the music of Ivor Novello? Surely that is a more suitable and more neglected body of work.

Such judgements are a matter of personal taste, of course, and those wanting a second opinion might do well to refer to Ian Lace’s excellent review of the original issue.

Owen E Walton



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