Songs of (Sir) Arthur Sullivan [1842-1900]

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Lance
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Songs of (Sir) Arthur Sullivan [1842-1900]

Post by Lance » Sun May 09, 2021 10:05 pm

Beyond the stage works of Gilbert & Sullivan, I have found much fascination in other of Sullivan's works. Probably the most famous song is "The Lost Chord," which most everyone knows. Chandos has just issued their second 2-CD set [20239] of 23 songs (some are excerpts from the staged works). This is a follow-up recital of Chandos' first 2-CD set [10935] issued in 2017. The singers are not well known but do a good job of presenting the songs. Four singers appear in this 20239 set, entitled "The Harmonious Echo." They include Mary Bevan, soprano; Kitty Whately, mezzo; Ben Johnson, tenor; Ashley Riches, bass-baritone. The excellent pianist is David Owen Norris. If I have one complaint: I would have liked to have a closer placement of microphones on singer and pianist. It is not always easy to clearly hear the words, though the exception most times would be the power of the soprano. The recordings were made at the famous Potton Hall in Dunwich, Suffolk, England in August and November 2020. I find myself generally attracted to the vocal music of the Victorian period; perhaps that was a previous life?
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
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Lance
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Re: Songs of (Sir) Arthur Sullivan [1842-1900]

Post by Lance » Sat May 15, 2021 9:32 pm

SONGS OF SIR ARTHUR SULLIVAN (1842-1900)
The other Chandos 2-CD set [10935] just arrived after I listened to the set mentioned above. In this one, we get five Shakespearen Songs, in addition to 41 other songs, all with interesting titles. This is the kind of music we simply do not hear much these days. They are melodic, have interesting texts and impeccable piano accompaniments by David Owen Norris. The singers again include soprano Mary Bevan, soprano; Ben Johnson, tenor; and Ashley Riches, bass-baritone. This was actually the first set of Sullivan songs that was issued in 2017. I take special note of the voice of Mary Bevan, whose voice shines in her part of this repertoire. All singers are well accomplished. Only complaint again is that I would like to hear the singers just hair more forward to better understand the texts. The piano, however, is very well recorded. The accompanying booklet provides all texts. ♫
Lance G. Hill
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______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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maestrob
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Re: Songs of (Sir) Arthur Sullivan [1842-1900]

Post by maestrob » Sun May 16, 2021 8:53 am

These sound quite wonderful, Lance!

I, too, am quite drawn to the Victorian era. In fact, British historical dramas hold a special place in my DVD collection, from "Upstairs, Downstairs" to "The Tudors," with stops along the way for Dame Glenda Jackson's "Elizabeth R" and the original "Forsyte Saga." Can't wait for the next season of "Victoria" on PBS, which I think is very sensitively done.

I once entered a lovely British coloratura soprano in the competition who brought me two arias to prepare her in, one from Elgar's opera "Caractacus" and another from Sir Arthur from "Ivanhoe," both lovely works and very inventive. I remember I had to give her an accelerando in the Sullivan piece because she couldn't sustain a long trill on a high Bb at the end without it. She also gave her debut recital in Carnegie's Weill Hall around the same time, with the MET's Maestro di Banda, Greg Buchalter (who was also a judge for me) on the keyboard.

I will definitely check these out. Thanks!

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