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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


David W SOLOMONS
Songs of Solomons
Stephen Taylor (counter-tenor)
Jonathan Leonard (piano)
DA CAPO MUSIC LTD NCC2003

from 26 Stanway Road, Whitefield, Manchester M45 8EG or www.dacaomusic.Co.uk £8,00 (£6.00 to BMS members)

David Solomons was born in 1953. An Oxford graduate, he was virtually self-taught in music. His compositions include works for choir, solo voice, organ and chamber groups. His idiom is unashamedly lyrical, modal - and variedly so – rather than tonal. These ten songs (the disc plays for slightly under 40 minutes) are stimulatingly varied. Two, Ludhe Sing Tishu (Summer is a cumen in but dedicated to hay fever sufferers) and Greek Wassail are parodies. The final Lookin’ Just Lookin’ is a cabaret song inspired by "lonely hearts" ads. More serious are the love songs Dawn in the Room, the lullaby The Quiet Way, the haunting The Swallows, evocative in its accompaniment and inspired by the Armenian troubles of 1915 and Rose, a setting of a simple Kurdish poem (translated). Invocation to the Journey, a Baudelaire poem (translated into English), was once memorably set by Duparc, though Solomons finds something fresh to say and pictures the rocking canal boat to perfection.

I found the composer’s eclecticism, in both musical invention and choice of lyrics (some of them his own), also his choice of the counter-tenor voice, of the greatest interest. Mr Taylor’s accomplished and sensitive singing does much for these songs; Mr Leonard is a sympathetic accompanist. Recording, except for slight "plumminess" in the piano tone at the outset, is very good. The songs are worth getting to know and I happily recommend the CD.
Philip Scowcroft

Paul Serotsky disagrees



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