COMPOSERS: Bairstow,Brahms etc,Elgar,Saint-Saens,Schubert,Wilbye
WORKS: Works by Saint-Saëns, Bairstow, Elgar, Schubert, Wilbye, Brahms etc
PERFORMER: King’s Singers
CATALOGUE NO: SIGCD 147
Here’s a stunning display of unaccompanied part-singing by six consummate vocal artists. The repertoire mixes lighter items (a nimble, witty account of Saint-Saëns’s ‘Sérénade d’hiver’) with more serious (a brace of exquisitely melancholy John Wilbye madrigals).
Nestled snugly between is ‘A Lover’s Journey’, four bright, technically busy settings described by contemporary American composer Libby Larsen as ‘my Valentine to the King’s Singers’.
Plucked from obscurity, Bairstow’s ‘Music, when soft voices die’ (for a pair each of tenors and basses) exudes a tender sentience, the four Singers effortlessly eliding the demands of clear enunciation with flexible unfolding of the longer melody. Sullivan’s ‘The Long Day Closes’, beautifully shaped and shorn of sentimental Victorian accretions, draws the curtain down on an outstandingly successful recital. Terry Blain