Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

SCARBOROUGH FAIR: ‘British Folk Songs for Tenor’
1. Lovely Joan (arr. Geoffrey Burgon)
2. The Turtle Dove (arr. James Griffett)
3. Sailor Boy (arr. Benjamin Britten)
4. The Grey Cock (arr. Geoffrey Burgon)
5. Benjamin Bowmaneer (arr. Geoffrey Burgon)
6. The oak and the ash (arr. Timothy Walker)
7. Master Kilby (arr. Benjamin Britten)
8. Scarborough Fair (arr. Charles Vale)
9. Dance to your daddy (arr. Timothy Walker)
10. Farewell to Stromness (Maxwell Davies) (arr. T.Walker)
11. The cockle gatherer (arr. Charles Vale)
12. Bonny at morn (arr. Benjamin Britten)
13. The Fairy Lover (arr. Stanley Vann)
14. The Salley Gardens (arr. James Griffett)
15. The Cuckoo (arr. Dietrich Wagner)
16. She mov’d thro' the fair (arr. James Griffett)
17. The shooting of his dear (arr. Benjamin Britten)
18. Greensleeves (Traditional.)
19. The soldier and the sailor (arr. Benjamin Britten)
20. The water is wide (arr. Mark Brown)
21. I must and I will get married (arr. David Posnett)
22. Bushes and briars (arr James Griffett)
23. The chickens they are crowing (arr. David Posnett)
24. Pretty Saro, (arr. David Posnett)
25. The Ploughman (arr. James Griffett)
26. Black is the colour of my true love's hair (arr. C. Vale)
27. Strawberry Fair (arr. Mark Brown)
(No recording details given)
James Griffett, (tenor); Timothy Walker, (guitar)
REGIS RRC 1112 [68.21]


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There are twenty-seven tracks on this disc of which all but one is a folksong

Griffett's voice, plaintively shaped falls lithely enough between those of Ian Partridge and Gerald English. He lacks vibrato ... thank the heavens. Listen to the exultantly steady diminuendo he spins at the end of Griffett's own arrangement of The Turtle Dove. He is accompanied by guitar in Lovely Joan, Sailor Boy (quite jazzy), The Grey Cock and The Oak and the Ash. In Benjamin Bowmaneer Griffett is sturdy and heroically ringing. He imparts a touch of Farewell and adieu to ye fair Spanish maidens to the song. The Hispanic contours and curls of the guitar part reflect that as they do also in Master Kilby. Griffett is unaccompanied in She mov'd thru the fair, Salley Gardens and Turtle Dove. His voice falters rarely for example in the unkindly testing Greensleeves.

While Charles Vale's arrangement of Scarborough Fair might have benefited from a slight touch on the accelerator Timothy Walker's transcription of PMD's Farewell to Stromness is a resounding success. This is one of the finest tracks here - an Orcadian pavane - very fitting in the present company.

As for the Britten arrangement of Bonny at morn it is delightful to hear this music liberated by Griffett from the bray that we were induced at one time to believe was the only acceptable orthodoxy. Griffett is in sturdy and ringing voice in The shooting of his dear. He seems also to revel in the Grainger-like jauntiness of The Soldier and the Sailor. A choice track is the pavane-paced Black is the colour of my true love's hair. Listen to the way he colours and relishes the words passing fair. The disc ends in the upbeat frivolity of Strawberry Fair taken at a very smart jog-trot clip.

Griffett is admirable though sometimes his accent is just a little too civilised and English. Far better this though than the affected ‘mummerset’ sometimes encountered.

The sung words are not printed although there is a pretty full general background essay on folk song.

Hearing this attractive collection I do hope that Griffett can he be inveigled into taking the solo tenor role in Finzi's Dies Natalis or better yet Intimations of Immortality.

This disc presents intelligent, confident and flavoursome singing and playing. The aim and the achievement is delight.

Rob Barnett

see also review by Robert Farr
If you like Griffett's voice you might like to track down the following on Regis:-
RRC 1023 Victorian Gentleman's Songbook review
RRC 1083 Edwardian Gentleman's Songbook review
RRC 1054 Britten folksong arrangements
RRC 1092 Irish tenor ballads review
RRC 1057 What is Life? review

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