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English Song Series, Vol. 20: Butterworth
 
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English Song Series, Vol. 20: Butterworth

1 July 2010 | Format: MP3

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2:32
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1:58
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3:18
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1:42
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0:58
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4:35
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1:38
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3:29
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1:36
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2:06
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1:48
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2:49
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1:16
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1:38
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1:26
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2:12
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 27 July 2010
  • Release Date: 1 July 2010
  • Label: Naxos
  • Copyright: (C) 2010 Naxos
  • Total Length: 50:41
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B003U018NK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,634 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By John McCartney, Amazon Customer on 17 Aug. 2010
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Butterworth's songs have a totemic quality because of his tragic and untimely death in the First World War. He is one of the great "might-have-beens" of English culture. You seem to hear the authentic voice of the Edwardian summer here. The settings of Houseman's eerie poems are well-known, and I have never heard a better recorded performance than this. "On The Idle Hill Of Summer" raises the hairs on the back of my neck! The only comparable recording for me (and I do have half-a-dozen others) is John Shirley-Quirk's from the 1960s, no longer available I believe. Technically this is pretty near spot-on, with the balance between voice and piano almost always just right. There seems to be a very slight hint of a phasing problem when listening on some headphones, but this is to be hyper-critical.

The other songs are settings of poems or English folk songs and, although not in the same league as the Shropshire Lad songs, are interesting, occasionally arresting, and very good fillers indeed. I would prefer the track order to place both the Houseman suites together - as published it doesn't quite make sense - but this is easy to achieve if you buy the mp3 version, or if you programme your CD player to do this for you. Very strongly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. Wise on 21 Aug. 2010
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Once again Roderick Williams delivers some wonder songs, by Butterworth in this case, in his most beautiful voice and ever incredible clear diction. Surely one of our great singers of today.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By sirrah on 9 Aug. 2010
Format: Audio CD
Some of Butterworth's best work.His settings of Houseman's poems from "A Shropshire Lad" are just about perfect. Outstanding quality and expressiveness of the singing and accompaniment on this recording makes it a must for anyone who loves and enjoys classic British song.
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Heard Roddy Williams for the first time at this years prom concerts, my daughter & I both loved it. His voice is so beautiful, diction so good that I just had to get a CD of him for a present for her. This CD is an excellent showcase for his voice, and the accompanist is brilliant. Butterworth's music is something of an acquired taste, so you need to be in the right mood for it. The Shropshire Lad songs are quite sad and mournful, the Sussex folk songs somewhat lighter and more fun, but overall a lovely CD. There was very little choice of his recordings on Amazon at the time, hopefully they'll be more in the future.
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I bought this at the same time as I did the orchestral disc 'Banks of Green Willow.' I love voice. Particularly baritone voice. And Roderick Williams has a lovely voice. I am sure his real name is Rhodri as he has a Welsh father, but he has changed it to appeal to a wider audience! He understands what he is singing, enjoys it and his phrasing is perfection, and the mix of beautiful Butterworth and Sussex folk songs sits together well. Oh yes, and the piano accompaniment is excellent too.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Christine M. Pluck on 11 Sept. 2010
Format: Audio CD
Wonderful settings of 14 of the poems from Housman's A Shropshire Lad. They are all delightful, capturing the nostalgic wistfulness of much of the poetry with the three choicest offerings being:"Loveliest of Trees", "When I Was One-and-twenty" and "Bredon Hill".

The Folk Songs from Sussex are a worthy collection in their own right, including settings of poems by Robert Louis Stevenson, Shelley and Oscar Wilde. Here Roderick Williams puts his own personal stamp on the songs, playfully changing both his accent and his pitch when taking the female role in the dialogue on "Seventeen Come Sunday" and the delightful and amusing "Roving in the Dew". "Yonder Stands a Lovely Creature" is a particularly good song. Many of the other songs, as you might expect of Sussex-by-the-Sea, make reference to courtship by sailors.

Roderick Williams' performance is powerful, yet sensitive to the lyrics and Iain Burnside's wonderful accompaniment deserves special praise.

The arrangement of the tracks is a little irritating: six poems by Housman then five folk songs from Sussex, followed by another eight poems by Housman and finally six more folk songs from Sussex; this means you have to have a programmable CD player to get the maximum enjoyment. Otherwise an outstanding CD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kenny the Hat on 22 Mar. 2014
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Vocalisation is not my penchant, although this particular type of music is so evocative and happy to be an Englishman!
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I decided to buy this after seeing Roderick Williams sing Songs from a Shropshire Lad during the Proms. I was pleased to discover he'd recorded them also. The other pieces on the album I'm still getting used to, but all in all, the album was very good value for the money.
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