Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Eternal Light

see end of review for track listing
Elin Manahan Thomas (soprano)
Robin Blaze (counter-tenor) (track 16)
Age of Enlightenment Orchestra/Harry Christophers
rec. No date given. St. Paul’s Church, Deptford, London, England
Full texts and English translation included
UNIVERSAL 4765970 [63:31]

CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Byd Y Soprano - Soprano World
see end of review for track listing
Elin Manahan Thomas (soprano)
Charlotte Mobbs (soprano) (tr. 3); Robert Davies (baritone) (tr. 6); The Sixteen/Harry Christophers (trs. 1 and 6); City of London Sinfonia/Stuart Stratford (trs. 2, 3 and 10); Ensemble Bro Morgannwg/John Hugh Thomas (tr. 7); Christopher Glynn (piano) (trs. 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12); Alistair Ross (organ) (tr. 1)
rec. March 2009 Henry Wood hall, London, England (all tr. s except tr. 7); September 2008 St. Mary’s Church, Swansea, Wales (tr. 7);
Only texts provided for trs. 11-12 (English translations)
SAIN SCD2651 [44:59]
Experience Classicsonline

Soprano Elin Manahan Thomas is often seen on our television screens singing on programmes such as the BBC’s Songs of Praise. I saw Thomas in performance a few years ago as a member of The Sixteen singing early sacred music in the setting of Kendal Parish Church, Cumbria and I still have fond memories of her soaring soprano.
The Welsh soprano won a choral scholarship to Clare College, Cambridge where she read Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic. Thomas joined the Monteverdi Choir in 2000 and has sung with The Sixteen, Polyphony, Cambridge Singers and the Gabrieli Consort. Increasingly she is in great demand as an international soloist.
Thomas has specialised in performing early music especially with the choral group The Sixteen. Her release titled Eternal Light on Universal covers music from the Renaissance and the Baroque period. The release titled Byd Y Soprano - Soprano World comprises mainly music from the Romantic period with some Classical and a Baroque piece. Late-Romantic music is not repertoire that one usually associates with Thomas in solo performance. It is not surprising that this highly talented singer will want to show her versatility by singing a wide range of repertoire. This stance will naturally invite comparisons with the finest singers in world. 

I cannot think of a finer exponent of early music around today than Thomas. Her soprano voice has an exceptional purity, with a silky smooth tone and light creamy fluidity. The voice isn’t heavy but neither is it over-bright and piercing. When listening to The Sixteen I was easily able to distinguish her voice owing to its clarity and carry yet I wouldn’t describe it as being over-distinctive.
On the disc Eternal Light Thomas’s performance was a revelation, revealing a glorious voice of elevated quality which wonderfully suited to Renaissance and Baroque music. I believe it to be superior to Emma Kirkby in her prime. Of the sixteen well chosen tracks not one disappoints. In addition there are two ‘killer’ tracks that are so exceptional, containing a special element of spirituality that one rarely encounters. Those ‘killer’ tracks are Eternal Source of Light Divine and When I am laid in earth (Dido's Lament) from Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas. Eternal Light is worth obtaining for those two tracks alone. I have played selections from this release at several Recorded Music Societies and Thomas’s performances have drawn considerable attention. Stunningly recorded at St. Paul’s Church, Deptford, London the release includes a splendid booklet containing full texts and English translations as necessary.
The release entitled Byd Y Soprano - Soprano World is a very different kettle of fish. Here the repertoire is mainly Late-Romantic with some Classical. This just doesn’t suit her voice in the same way as early music. Clearly there is more than one way of interpreting a song and Thomas sings all her selections extremely well. In particular I must say how much I enjoyed her interpretation of Richard Strauss’s masterworkMorgen (Morning). But in this repertoire the weight and amplitude of the voice, its richness and depth of emotional expression is just not able to compete with the world’s greatest lyric interpreters. In the Gounod and Delibes songs the intensely fierce competition includes such distinguished performers as Angela Gheorghiu, Anna Netrebko, Natalie Dessay, Joan Sutherland and Maria Callas. In Schubert and Richard Strauss, Thomas traverses the same Lieder territory as Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Jessye Norman, Cheryl Studer, Lucia Popp and Renée Fleming. Also included on Soprano World are two attractive Welsh songs Y Gylfinir (The Curlew) by Dilys Elwyn-Edwards and Gweddi Pechadur (The Sinner’s Prayer) by Morfydd Llwyn Owen. All but one of the songs were recorded in the Henry Wood Hall, London and although acceptable I didn’t enjoy the sound quality anywhere near as much as Eternal Light. Thomas is principally accompanied by pianist Christopher Glynn, three songs are with the City of London Sinfonia, two songs with The Sixteen and one with Ensemble Bro Morgannwg. In Sous le dôme épais (Flower Duet) from Delibes’ Lakmé Thomas is partnered with soprano Charlotte Mobbs and in the duet La Ci Darem La Mano  from Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni she is joined by her husband the baritone Robert Davies.
I’m sure Thomas admirers will want to purchase both releases. The real treasure is the magnificently performed and recorded disc Eternal Light which I have been playing over and over again.  

Michael Cookson

Track listing
Eternal light

Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)
1. O Euchari in leta via [1:40]
Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1739)
2. Eternal Source of Light Divine -
Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne [3:50]
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
3. Nulla in Mundo Pax Sincera [5:54]
Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1739)
4. Ombra mai fu [2:52]
Giovanni Battista PERGOLESI (1710-1736)
5. Et Jesum [2:12]
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
6. Bist Du Bei Mir, BWV508 [2:51]
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
7. Dell'aura al sussurar [2:09]
(Arrangement by Christopher Charles Hazel)
Thomas ARNE (1710-1778)
8. Where the bee sucks [2:10]
Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1739)
9. Where'er You Walk [5:07]
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
10. Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben [5:18]
Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1739)
11. Lascia ch'io pianga [5:15]
Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1739)
12. Let the bright seraphim
John DOWLAND (1563-1626)
13. Flow My Tears [4:16]
Henry PURCELL (1659-1695)
14. When I Am laid In earth (Dido's Lament) [4:42]
John DOWLAND (1563-1626)
15. Weepe you no more sad fountains [4:10]
Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643)
16. Pur ti miro [4:50]

Soprano world
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
1. Dell'aura Al Sussurrar [2:22]
Charles GOUNOD (1818-1893)
2. Je Veux Vivre Dans Le Rève [3:39]
Léo DELIBES (1836-1891)
3. Sous Le Dôme Épais [4:22]
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
4. Du Ring An Meinem Finger [2:54]
Richard STRAUSS (1864 - 1949)
5. Morgen [4:44]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
6. La Ci Darem La Mano [3:20]
Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
7. Nun Blut Die Flur Das Frisch Grun [5:06]
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
8. An Die Musik [2:43]
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
9. Ave Maria [2:16]
Johann STRAUSS II (1825-1899)
10. Mein Herr Marquis [2:43]
Dilys ELWYN-EDWARDS (1918-2012)
11. Y Gylfinir (The Curlew) [2:13]
Morfydd LLWYN OWEN (1891-1918)
12. Gweddi Pechadur (The Sinner’s Prayer) [6:04]











































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


      Composer surveys
      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

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


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

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



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

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
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
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
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.