OH HEARKEN ALL YE LOVERS OF GOOD MUSIC!
This album presents some of the most profoundly beautiful songs you will ever hear anywhere!!!It would be worthwhile even if you only enjoyed the first 3 songs on the disc: the 3 Realizations from Harmonia Sacra which are 'Lord! I have sinned','Hymn to God the Father' by Pelham Humfreys and 'A Hymn on Divine Music' (which is absolutely so meaningful to us who love the art of music) by William Croft all arranged by Britten for tenor and harp. And all sung by one of the most exquisitely beautiful tenor voices ever to come out of the UK; flawless diction,resonant and vibrant tone quality and highly emotional portraying every little nuance in the song.
I bought this album because the music of Britten has always intrigued me and I was not disappointed in the variety of songs included on this album. The nine Holy Sonnets of John Donne are profound religious meditations,all of which are concerned with death and repentance. The songs 'Evening','Morning', and 'Night', are taken from the incidental music for Ronald Duncan's Masque 'This Way to the Tomb'.There are songs with settings of W.H. Auden, and several other writers too numerous to mention, but suffice it to say that there is sufficient variety to keep all listeners interested throughout the disc. Some of the songs I found particularly interesting are:'The Red Cockatoo',Waley-'A Poison Tree',Blake-'Cradle Song for Eleanor',MacNeice-and 'Death be not Proud'.
When you have an Ian Bostridge available there is no need to look for anyone else. He has all the vocal skills and nuances to sing each song as an island in itself; simply marvelous interpretations, and he is fortunate to have Graham Johnson to accompany him.