Fine work, by a fine gentleman...
Rachel Howard | ocklawaha, Florida United States | 05/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"George London had a voice I've seen described as pantherish. The sound is black, silken, powerful, and often overwhelmingly passionate. As the CD title says, this is from a concert he gave in 1957, accompanied by pianist John Newmark, who does excellent work here. We get quite a variety of songs here, from German Lied to Mussorsgky's Songs and Dances of Death to American and Celtic based folk. I must admit that London surprised me on this album many times. While I expect him to do the powerful songs superbly, it's hard to expect tenderness in a wonderful old tune like Turn Ye To Me, a Scottish melody. Not from George London- Mister `Voice of Wotan' himself... but he pulls it off excellently to my ears. No, he will not erase memories of John McCormack and Kenneth MacKellar, but it's wonderful to hear a fine bass-baritone version of this song. Thank ye, George, wherever ye may be. He even does Down By The Sally Gardens in a fashion that fits the song very well, thank you. For those who love the lower male voices, as I do, this CD comes highly recommended. Oh, yes, the sound. This is a VAI production, and those of you who have read my review of the Bartoletti-Vickers-MacNeil-Carlyle Pagliacci know how awful I found that sound. No worries here. You'll scarcely know this is a live performance, until the applause begins. Audience noise is extremely minimal, while both the voice and piano are caught clearly. No, the sound does not quite match the best DDD recordings, or even the best of the time- 1957- but it's excellent."