Grace Davidson – A Portrait Hildegard von BINGEN (1098-1179)
Ave, generoso [5:05] Leonardo LEO (1694-1744)
Salve Regina [16:07] Francesco MANCINI (1672-1737)
Quanto dolce e quell’ardore [11:18] Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Easter Oratorio – Seele, deine Spezereien BWV 249 (1736) [10:54]
John DOWLAND (1563-1626)
First Book of Songs – His Golden locks Time Hath To Silver Turned
(1597) [3:35] Henry PURCELL (1659-1695)
Come, ye Sons of Art, away – Bid the Virtues (1694) [3:20] Jan Antonín KOŽELUCH (1738-1814)
Sola digna tu fuisti [4:53] Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Exsultate, jubilate (1773) [14:35] Grace Davidson
Fiori Musicali/Penelope Rapson
rec. St Mary’s Church, Adderbury, Oxfordshire, March 2007 METRONOME METCD1083
This is a fine calling-card, a disc entrée, for the young English
soprano Grace Davidson. She is somewhere near the start of her
career and the recital reflects some of her enthusiasms and musical
focal points. She’s abetted by Fiori Musicali and their director
Penelope Rapson. The range of music covered is quite widespread
– from Hildegard von Bingen and her monophony through to Mozart
by way of a famous Dowland lute song, Italian baroque and a movement
from Purcell’s glorious Come, ye Sons of Art, away – and
She manages the
impressive feat of marrying spontaneity and simplicity in the
Hildegard extract – throughout the five minute length of which
it’s tough to keep pitch from sagging; needless to say Davidson
emerges pitch-victorious. In Leonardo Leo’s Salve reginawe might find Davidson sounding Kirkby-like in the purity
of the voice though arguably she’s slightly warmer in tone,
due to a slightly more pressing vibrato. She certainly unveils
a greater range of tone colours for the more raptly expressive
sections and emerges as a fine exponent of Italian music.
There’s a fine oboe
obbligato in the Mancini, a piece which exploits a lilt in the
lyrical line that lends it distinction. Davidson manages the
agility of the central section with something approaching ease
– though it’s anything but easy. Noting the instrumental contributions
leads one to the fine flute playing in the extract from Bach’s
Easter Oratorio. Koželuch’s motet Sola digna tu fuisti
is a fine work and will be something of a discovery for many as
it was for me. This is apparently its first British recording.
It’s a shame that we hear only this extract – it’s only five minutes
in length in this performance and whets one’s appetite for more.
The most well known music here is Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate
which she sings with clear-eyed brilliance and brio.
This engaging recital
is very much geared to Grace Davidson’s enthusiasms and strengths.
Texts are provided.
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