> English Tenor Repertoire Vol 5 [PS]: Classical Reviews- May2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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DIBDIN: Tom Bowling;
BRAHAM: The Death of Nelson;
BALFE: Come into the Garden Maud;
CLARIBEL: You and I;
SULLIVAN: The Lost Chord;
CLAY: I’ll Sing Thee Songs of Araby;
BARNBY: The Beggar Maid;
ADAMS: The Holy City;
H F LESLIE: Annabelle Lee;
Henry LAMB: The Volunteer Organist;
DOLORES: The Brook;
L LEHMANN: Ah! Moon of My Delight;
Florence AYLWARD: Song of the Bow;
Charles WILLEBY: Crossing the Bar;
Maud V WHITE: Absent Yet Present;
May BRAHE: Bless This House;
Alma ANDROZZO: If I Can Help Somebody
Gordon Pullin (tenor)
Roger Fisher (piano)

See Volumes 1-5

The latest volume (of seven projected in all) in this important and comprehensive series is devoted to "parlour songs" or ballads which form had its floreat period during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. The repertoire on this CD stretches that historical period at either end as the Dibdin and Braham date from well before 1837. Bless This House and If I Can Help were both published well after the Great War, the latter indeed in 1945.

The disc seems to contain almost everybody’s favourite high voice parlour songs and they are heard in the best possible light. There is not a hint of parody or even overstatement and admirably clear diction. These songs – and I am thinking particularly of The Death of Nelson – still have the power to move us. There are a number which are new, or almost new, to me, although they are all within the same matrix: Annabelle Lee for instance, or Crossing the Bar, or The Beggar Maid.

Henry Lamb was an American and in his Volunteer Organist, in Dolores’ The Brook, perhaps in Claribel’s You and I the temptation to "ham them up" must have been almost irresistible (though these artistes do resist it). Yet the songs by Frederick Clay, Liza Lehman and Maud Valerie White, in particular, are sensitive imaginations and almost border on the "art song" genre. Florence Aylward’s stirring Song of the Bow, to words by Arthur Conan Doyle, reflects the patriotic feeling of its period as do The Yeoman of England, The Old Superb and others.

Performances show admirable musicianship and sensitivity on the part of both singer and accompanist. Recording and presentation are again very good. I cannot really imagine anyone not deriving pleasure from this disc – even if some might do so shamefacedly.
Philip Scowcroft



PRICE: Ł10.00 each, incl. p&p

The CD may also be obtained from:-

Gordon Pullin, Treakles, Kettlebaston, Suffolk, IP7 7QA

E-Mail: gpullin@talk21.com

or from

Macdonald Music Services, 14 High Street, Steyning, West Sussex

and from

Audiosonic (Gloucester) Ltd, 6 College Street, Gloucester, GL1 29E

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