Songs by Vaughan Williams, Britten,Quilter, Finzi and Ireland

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COMPOSERS: Britten,Finzi and Ireland,Quilter,Songs by Vaughan Williams
LABELS: ABC Classics
WORKS: Songs of Travel
PERFORMER: Teddy Tahu Rhodes (baritone)Sharolyn Kimmorley (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 476 7175
Antipodean baritone as dusty,


Armani-clad vagabond: the cover

design of the disc says it all. Teddy

Tahu Rhodes, from New Zealand,

was a personable Papageno recently

at Welsh National Opera and, as

his career begins to take off in opera

houses worldwide, he puts his cards

on the song table.

His easefully projected, warmly

integrated light baritone is well cast

for the striding verse of Masefield

and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Rhodes brings a beguiling oldeworlde

New World nostalgia to

Ireland’s Masefield ballads; but he

needs to engage more robustly in

the bright ring of Stevenson’s words

and with the shifting colours of the

piano writing, so vividly realised by

Sharolyn Kimmorley in Vaughan

Williams’s Songs of Travel.

Quilter and Finzi are as yet a

little penny-plain: Rhodes needs to

find darker, more elusive shadows

in their expressive world. And three

of Britten’s folksong arrangements

reveal a tendency to aspirate rather

than really sing through their legato

lines. But there’s much to enjoy here:

it’s just a little too early, perhaps, to


document it on disc. Hilary Finch