Moeran/Warlock

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Moeran/Warlock
LABELS: Chandos
WORKS: Songs of Springtime; Phyllida and Corydon; Carols & part-songs
PERFORMER: Finzi Singers/Paul Spicer
CATALOGUE NO: CHAN 9182 DDD
Warlock and Moeran were close friends sharing a common interest in the Elizabethan age and in folksongs. Moeran’s Songs of Springtime and Phyllida and Corydon both use Elizabethan poems, but whereas the former are part-songs influenced by Delius, the latter are pastiche madrigals. The Finzi Singers point up beautifully the irony of ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’, the witty bird-calls of ‘Spring, the Sweet Spring’, the sadness of the transience of all beauty which is ‘To Daffodils’ and the youthful innocence of ‘Corydon Arise’.

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Warlock is probably one of the finest carollists of the early 20th century, as evidenced by this collection which also includes two part-songs. The Cornish carols are very attractive and ‘Corpus Christi’ is hauntingly sung by Andrea Gray and Andrew Carwood, with accompaniment for women’s voices alternating with verses for full chorus. Particularly impressive is the complex ‘The Full Heart’ in its evocation of the immensities of the sea and the universe. ‘All the Flowers in the Spring’, again about transience and vain ambition, ends very imaginatively on a richly harmonised, long-held note to suggest the ‘wind’.

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The Finzi Singers perform with their usual refinement and polish and the sound is very good. Ian Lace