Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

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

 


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!


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: AmazonUK AmazonUS

A North Country Lass – A Selection of Sixteen Folk Music Songs
Henry VIII (1491-1547)
Pastime with Good Company
Robert BURNS (1759-1796)
My Love is Like a Red Red Rose
John DOWLAND (1563-1626)
Fine Knacks for Ladies
TRADITIONAL
The Bold Grenadier, All Around My Hat, Once I had a Sweetheart, Blow the Wind Southerly, He Moved Through the Fair, Suo Gan, The Raggle Taggle Gypsies, The Cuckoo, The Collier Lad, A North Country Lass, Dance to Your Daddy, Over the Hills and Far Away, On Ilkley Moor Baht’at
Lesley Garrett (soprano)
Crouch End Festival Chorus/David Temple
The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra/Paul Bateman
rec. Smecky Music Studios, Prague, Czech Republic, 2012
CD booklet with notes and song texts in English
MUSIC INFINITY INS500 [64.20]

Experience Classicsonline



The press release for Lesley Garrett’s fourteenth solo album, A North Country Lass, states that she is “Britain’s Best Loved Soprano”. This may well be the case but I think she is now something a little different: Lesley Garrett is a real media personality, regularly appearing in popular television shows on BBC, ITV and Sky Arts. She has also successfully managed a so-called “cross-over”, receiving critical acclaim and enjoying success with her roles in such musicals as The Sound of Music and Carousel.
 
With A North Country Lass, Ms Garrett reveals yet another musical facet of her flexible approach to singing and her special touch when it comes to pleasing audiences. In her own words, she “grew up with folk music and then grew into an opera singer”. Presumably with this album she is not only returning to her roots but also giving a fresh make-over to folk music, which, as she puts it, “is in all of us, it is the country’s unconscious musical heart-beat”.
 
There is much to enjoy in this recording. Garrett’s voice is fresh, clear and it has not lost its youthful appeal. She has perfect enunciation and a secure, accomplished technique, which are patent throughout. Her delight in singing these songs is noticeable. The interpretation of each piece is colourful and vivid, taking care with the detail and effectively expressing the meaning of the lyrics. I loved her sense of humour in All around my Hat and especially in The Collier Lad - performed in a funny, sassy style, which makes listening very entertaining.
 
Ms Garrett’s tone is pure and generally very warm. She remains true to each song, meaning that she does not try to transform them into something they are not. Their simplicity and innocence are respected and it is these qualities which, in the end, are those that make these songs beautiful and charming. Perhaps, because I am very fond of opera, my favourite pieces were He moved through the Fair and A North Country Lass, the latter giving the album its title.
 
A North Country Lass is a satisfying recital that to me was almost unknown. I was born and grew up in Portugal; so, my folk music roots are naturally very different, which may well be why I perceived these songs as slightly exotic and certainly fascinating. I must say however that the overly worked orchestrations, presumably, to make the songs more appealing to modern audiences, did not completely convince me. The beauty of folk music lies mostly in its simplicity. The orchestrations were at times a little too elaborate, spoiling the appeal and the charm. This is certainly the case in Blow the Wind Southerly, overly dramatic at times, suggesting a complexity that is out of place, and Dance to your Daddy, with a completely new middle section composed especially for this recording. This, to me, appeared totally unnecessary. Finally, Fine Knacks for Ladies, composed by John Dowland, to be sung to a lute, would certainly be more attractive if performed as its creator originally intended. Having said all that, not all the songs “suffer” from over-the-top arrangements. Indeed, the majority are orchestrated in a manner that respects the original music and serves the voice. Henry VIII’s Pastime with Good Company is an excellent example, as is the title song, A North Country Lass.
 
The musicians of The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, led by celebrated conductor, composer and pianist Paul Bateman, are exceptional throughout. The Crouch End Festival Chorus is energetic and enthusiastic, effectively adding vivacity and humour to some of the pieces, notably in All around my Hat.
 
The CD comes in an attractive packaging with beautifully evocative photographs of northern, misty landscapes. Some of the artist’s photos would have benefited from a little less retouching, though. The texts of the songs are all included, as well as a grateful note by the singer, thanking all the people who, in one way or other, contributed to the completion of the album.
 
Overall, A North Country Lass is an entertaining, charming recital of folk music; an interesting initiative, put together with great care and exceptionally well performed. Lesley Garrett is in fine form throughout. The CD may not be to everybody’s taste but I am sure her many fans will be delighted with the album and rightfully so!
 
Margarida Mota-Bull
(Margarida writes more than just reviews, check it online at http://www.flowingprose.com/)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


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.