Search - Charles Villiers Stanford, Ivor Gurney, Thomas Dunhill :: Ian Bostridge - The English Songbook

Ian Bostridge - The English Songbook
Charles Villiers Stanford, Ivor Gurney, Thomas Dunhill
Ian Bostridge - The English Songbook
Genres: Folk, Special Interest, Pop, Classical
  •  Track Listings (24) - Disc #1


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Glorious singing
Jon Hunt | Old Greenwich, Ct. USA | 03/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ian Bostridge has emerged as the finest tenor of a generation. This CD, one of the best solo CDs I have heard, is remarkable not only for Mr. Bostridge's incredible musicianship, but also for its remarkable song content. His performance of William Denis Browne's "To Gratiana Dancing and Singing" is a powerful interpretation of an equally powerful song. Mr. Bostridge can deliver robust songs as marvelously as he does tender ones...he has an ability to pull in the listener, in a manner which I have not heard for years. Each of the 24 songs is a gem, carefully accompanied by Julius Drake. It is a privilege to own this recording and I highly recommend it."
J. C. Bailey | East Sussex United Kingdom | 10/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ian Bostridge has one of the most beautiful voices on record, and he has consistently shown courage and wisdom in selecting material that will extend and develop his gifts. Not all of this material has been a perfect match for his young and soaring tenor voice, notably some of Schubert's more dramatic "lieder". In contrast, nothing could be more perfectly suited to his voice than this generous and beautiful collection of traditional English poetic settings by Britten, Finzi, Grainger, Warlock and others.Bostridge brings more than just a beautiful tone and a subtle musical phrasing to these songs. The challenge any intepreter of English songs has to face is that, in contrast with the pure syllables of most continental languages, the complex vowels of "Southern British English" are formidably difficult to render attractively in song. It's not just a question of singing them prettily. Think how accurately the pronunciation of a word like "house" or "bath" can betray someone's geographical and social background; our vowels are a caste-mark as well as a means of communication. But somehow Bostridge himself, in his fruitful partnership with Julius Drake, manages to transcend our socio-linguistic divisions and deliver these songs in a way that places no barrier between the listener and the music.The material is wonderful in its own right - a collection of lilting pastoral airs and occasional boisterous ditties. They are at one and the same time ancient and modern, embracing at once the mutual cross-fertilisation between classical and "pop" sensibilities that has always underpinned the best of English music. Even the most trivial of these songs (e.g. "Jillian of Berry") are memorable, and some of them (notably Sir Charles Stanford's chilling musical setting of the Keats' poem, "La Belle Dame Sans Merci") would not have been beneath Schubert himself.It has been fashionable over the generations to belittle British classic music. "The land without song" England was dubbed, as the sleeve notes poignantly remind us. This CD is a healthy reminder that the global success of English popular music in the latter four decades of the 20th century did not appear out of nowhere; it was built on a solid foundation of past accomplishment that it was for too long fashionable to dismiss. Highly recommended."
A Hit
Arthur J. Jacobson | New York, New York USA | 04/04/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Bostridge is astonishing. English music is largely unknown in the United States, and this album introduces you to some truly remarkable composers: Finzi, Stanford, etc., etc. The songs are achingly beautiful and cover the range of human emotions. Altogether a lucky day when I happened across it."