Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Tudor 7188


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Summertime
Felicity Lott (soprano), Graham Johnson (piano)
rec. April 2000, Champs Hill, Pulborough, Sussex. DDD
See complete track listing at the end of review.
CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD008 [74:35]

Experience Classicsonline



 
Like a piece of amber that stores the summers of millions of years ago, this disc will keep you warm in the cold times to come. I don’t know whose idea it was to make such a themed album, but it was a good one. And the execution is just perfect, with glorious singing by Felicity Lott and superlative accompaniment by Graham Johnson.
 
The selection is generous, with some little-known songs, but also with many acknowledged masterpieces. Indeed, can anything be better than Schubert’s Auf dem Wasser zu singen, Fauré’s Clair de lune, Barber’s Sure on this Shining Night and Gershwin’s Summertime? And what about all of these under one roof? Most of these songs refer to summer either directly or indirectly, by mentioning flowers, meadows and other attributes of the season. Others, like Barber’s The Monk and the Cat, have no perceptible summer connection. A stronger overall association is the spiritual one: the happy, relaxed mood of the season, when “the living is easy”.
 
The voice of Felicity Lott now has a certain thinness and dryness: it is no longer one of those “ripe and juicy” sopranos. I would rather compare it to pure white silver. She is a master of tone-shading, and her diction is very clear. In the French songs one hears a foreigner, but only just. Graham Johnson balances Lott’s high voice with the middle and lower registers of the piano. An experienced accompanist, he knows exactly which weight to give to each phrase to achieve the best blending with the voice. Maybe it would be right to call the performance a duet, for Johnson is not playing: he is singing the piano.
 
Let’s take two songs that follow each other on the disc: Schumann’s Der Nussbaum and Brahms’ Meine Liebe is grün (what an eco-friendly name). In the former, the singer and the pianist seem to pass the melody from hand to hand, carefully, like a precious thing. In the last section the long, horizontal notes of the vocal part and the swiftly mobile, more vertical piano part together weave the musical fabric. And this togetherness, where each one listens to the other, is very much felt. The Brahms song is heavily loaded with ecstatic feelings. For this loading not to become an overload, each partner says a little less, so that combined they obtain the right emotional pressure. It’s like building the bridge from two sides of the river: the junction is the highest point.
 
The order in which the songs are ordered is well chosen. Interest is maintained from the opening Summertime to the last Amen of Rutter’s heavenly prayer. There are pleasant surprises on the way: Thomas Arne’s playful Shakespeare setting from 1746 or Frank Bridge’s euphoric Go Not, Happy Day or a guest from the nearby cabaret, Cole Porter’s jazzy Tale of an Oyster. Then again there’s a short visit into the world of children in Fraser-Simson’s Vespers, where Christopher Robin is saying his prayers. Most songs are gentle and lyrical: the mood is more that of a quiet summer evening or a lazy afternoon, than of a busy morning. France and Germany are represented by their best, but almost the entire Pantheon of British music is here.
 
The liner notes, alas-alack, are not by Graham Johnson. Still, they contain a concise essay that touches on each song in the recital (in English only). This album was recorded in 2000, and was at first released on ASV and BlackBox. I do not know whether some additional mastering was done for this release. The complete texts are provided, with German and French lyrics accompanied by English translations. The recording quality is excellent. The position of the musicians in aural space is not sharply defined, which increases this sense of unity: the voice and the piano seem to be growing out of each other.
 
Quintessential summer on disc.

 

Oleg Ledeniov


 

 
George GERSHWIN (1898 - 1937)
1. Summertime, from Porgy and Bess (1935) [2:20]
Samuel BARBER (1910 - 1981)
2. Sure on this shining night, from Four Songs Op.13/4 (1938) [2:20]
Edward ELGAR (1857 - 1934)
3. The Shepherd’s Song, from Three Songs Op.16/1 (1892) [2:49]
Gabriel FAURÉ (1845 - 1924)
4. Clair de lune, Op. 46/2 (1887) [3:06]
Roger QUILTER (1877 - 1953)
5. Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal, Op. 3/2 (1904) [2:04]
Franz SCHUBERT (1797 - 1828)
6. Who is Sylvia? D. 891 (Op. 106/4) (1926) [2:48]
Thomas ARNE (1710 - 1778)
7. Where the Bee Sucks - Ariel’s Song from The Tempest (1746) [1:40]
Hector BERLIOZ (1803 - 1869)
8. L'ile inconnue, from Les Nuits d'été, H. 81 (Op. 7/6) (1840-41) [3:35]
Franz SCHUBERT
9. Auf dem Wasser zu singen, D. 774 (Op. 72) (1823) [3:43]

Gabriel FAURÉ
10. Soir, Op. 83/2 (1894) [2:20]
Robert SCHUMANN (1810 - 1856)
11. Der Nussbaum, from Myrthen Op. 25/3 (1840) [3:40]
Johannes BRAHMS (1833 - 1897)
12. Junge Liebe I ("Meine Liebe ist grün"), Op. 63/5 (1873) [1:35]
Liza LEHMANN (1862 - 1918)
13. In a Persian Garden (“Ah, Moon of my Delight”) (1896) [4:27]
Gabriel FAURÉ
14. Notre amour, Op. 23/2 (c.1897) [2:08]
Hector BERLIOZ
15. Villanelle, from Les Nuits d'été, H. 81 (Op. 7/1) (1840-41) [2:18]
Samuel BARBER
16. The monk and his cat, from Hermit Songs, Op. 29/8 (1952-53) [2:34]
Frank BRIDGE (1879 - 1941)
17. Go Not, Happy Day, H34 (1916) [1:35]
Frederick DELIUS (1862 - 1934)
18. To Daffodils, from Four Old English Songs, RT v/30 (1915) [2:14]
Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872 - 1958)
19. Orpheus with his Lute (c.1901) [2:23]
John IRELAND (1879 - 1962)
20. The Trellis [2:45]
Roger QUILTER
21. Love's Philosophy, Op.3/1 (1905) [1:30]
Haydn WOOD (1882 - 1959)
22. A Brown Bird Singing (1922) [2:29]
Irish Traditional
23. The lark in the clear air [1:32]
Peter WARLOCK (1894 - 1930)
24. Sleep (1922) [2:25]
Cole PORTER (1891 - 1964)
25. The Tale of an Oyster, from Fifty Million Frenchmen (1929) [3:09]
Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918 - 1990)
26. My House, from incidental music to Peter Pan (1950) [1:45]
Michael HEAD (1900 - 1976)
27. The Little Road to Bethlehem (1946) [2:32]
Harold FRASER-SIMSON (1872 - 1944)
28. Vespers (Christopher Robin is Saying his Prayers) (1924) [2:19]
John RUTTER (b.1945)
29. The Lord Bless You and Keep You (orig. for chorus & orchestra) [2:15]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.