Splendid voices ... and every word understood.
John Austin | Kangaroo Ground, Australia | 03/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dutton releases continue to win high praise. The authors of a guide to CDs wrote recently, "Almost everything (Mike Dutton) processes seems to turn to gold and the results are sometimes little short of miraculous". Beautifully processed here is a collections of English songs with piano accompaniment recorded by an array of singers, seven English and one Australian, between 1928 and 1954. The text of eight of them are by Shakespeare. All Butterworth's settings of A E Housman's "A Shropshire Lad" poems are here. It was from strands of the first of these songs, "Loveliest of Trees" that Butterworth wove his orchestral rhapsody "A Shropshire Lad". There are some splendid voices here, and every word is understood. There is Astra Desmond's contralto, with its dark colouring but bright patina, the fulsome richness of John Heddle Nash's baritone, some mellifluous singing from Richard Lewis, John Cameron's manly baritone, Gwen Catley's unmistakable timbre, Alfred Piccaver in 1928 but clear and easily recognised, and the north of England's vocal quality represented by Walter Midgley and Owen Brannigan. Whether you're an Anglophile, a remastering enthusiast, or a collector of good voices, you'll get excellent value from this 75 minute CD."