Peter Dickinson; Madeleine Dring; Nathan Williamson; John Woolrich; Geoffrey Poole: One Hundred Years of British Song, Vol. 3

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SOMM Recordings announces the third and final volume of the
enthusiastically received One Hundred Years of British Song, with tenor
James Gilchrist and pianist Nathan Williamson.
Focusing on songs written since 1950, Volume 3 celebrates what
Williamson’s booklet note describes as “astonishment at the depth of
expressivity of the poetry and music”.
Receiving first recordings are John Woolrich’s settings of Irish poet
Matthew Sweeney, The Unlit Suburbs, a deadpan yet evocative exercise in
“alternative realism”, and Geoffrey Poole’s stylistically wide-ranging The Eye
of the Blackbird, with texts from Virginia Woolf, traditional Nigerian poems,
Wallace Stevens, the Tibetan Book of the Dead and Requiem Mass.
Also on disc for the first time are Williamson’s own song-cycle setting poems
by Bryan Heiser composed especially for James Gilchrist, The Little That Was
Once a Man, and solo-piano miniature, Intermezzo. Peter Dickinson’s early,
accomplished Four W.H. Auden Songs and dramatic and intense yet positive
and joyful Let the Florid Music Praise, and Madeleine Dring’s characterful
Five Betjeman Songs, the product of a “fascinating and multi-faceted artistic
personality”, complete the disc.
Gramophone hailed Volume 1 (SOMMCD 0621) as “a most impressive
release” and Limelight, awarding its Recording of the Month accolade, as
“a penetrating, frequently revelatory start to a promising new series”. Of
Volume 2 (SOMMCD 0636), MusicWeb International said: “It is redundant to
declare that this is a superlative CD. Considering the two performers, the
technical prowess of SOMM Recordings, the excellent liner notes and the
imaginative and wide-ranging programme, it could be nothing else”.
Gilchrist’s SOMM releases include Parry’s English Lyrics (SOMMCD 257
and 270) and Penelope Thwaites’ From Five Continents (SOMMCD 0612), to
which, theclassicalreview said, “Gilchrist brings authority throughout”.
Williamson’s SOMM association includes Great American Sonatas (SOMMCD
0163), “a release of distinction” (Gramophone), and Colour and Light
(SOMMCD 0196), a 2019 Recording of the Year for International Piano.
Item number SOMMCD 0646
Barcode 748871064621
Release date 21/01/2022
Label SOMM Recordings
Media type CD
Number of units 1
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