As an interpreter of English song, Gilchrist is often in a class by himself. --The Times
Gilchrist's bright, ringing tenor voice is compelling from the first note, but it's the range of expression and unaffected musicality that leave the lasting impression. --BBC Music
Tenor James Gilchrist adds to his widely acclaimed series of albums celebrating British song with this programme by Kenneth Leighton and Benjamin Britten. Alongside pianist Anna Tilbrook, Gilchrist excels in a programme that includes the first modern recording of Leighton's Earth, Sweet Earth and Britten's popular and touching song cycle Winter Words. Leighton's Earth, Sweet Earth was commissioned in memory of Peter Pears tenor and life-long partner of Benjamin Britten. This is the first modern recording of this work since the original recording by Neil Mackie for whom the work was written. Earth, Sweet Earth requires astonishing virtuosity from both vocalist and pianist; the piano taking on an almost orchestral role in settings of text by Ruskin and Hopkins. Britten wrote Winter Words for Peter Pears. Set to eight poems by Thomas Hardy, this is the composer's most popular song set. James Gilchrist emotively conveys one of Britten's favourite themes: the conflict between innocence and experience.