Warlock: The Curlew; Lillygay; Peterisms, Sets 1 & 2; Saudades

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WORKS: The Curlew; Lillygay; Peterisms, Sets 1 & 2; Saudades
PERFORMER: Adrian Thompson (tenor), Christopher Maltman (baritone), John Constable (piano), Philippa Davies (flute), Christine Pendrill (cor anglais); Duke Quartet
CATALOGUE NO: 8.557115 Reissue (1997)
This selection of Warlock’s songs (originally on Collins) shows that the rollicking of ‘Captain Stratton’s Fancy’ and ‘Rutterkin’ is less characteristic than the preoccupation with death that runs through so many of the songs. ‘The Curlew’ – sensitively moulded by the wind and string players – is entirely sombre in tone, and it suits Adrian Thompson’s dark-hued tenor, though he can be strained in the higher reaches of something like ‘Roister Doister’. Christopher Maltman is more even across the range, and brings a touching lyricism to ‘The frostbound wood’ as well as a carefree booziness to ‘Mr Belloc’s Fancy’. With fluent and variegated playing from John Constable, this is a bargain worth having. Martin Cotton