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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful songs, 23 Nov. 2009
By 
Deb (Southsea, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Folksongs (Audio CD)
I am addicted to this beautiful record and want to play it all the time. The piano arrangements are exquisite and Pears voice is sublime. Also, a really good selection of songs, variety of mood and tempo. Warning: They take up residence inside your head
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful piano realization, 1 April 2012
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This review is from: Folksongs (Audio CD)
I heartily agree with Deb's review; I should only add that Britten's piano realization of the accompaniment is extremely interesting, elaborate, subtle (just listen to the final bars of "Le roi s'en va en chasse") yet never overwhelming the singing but sustaining it - and his playing is of course wonderful, so clear and precise in every detail. Pears's singing has so many nuances that one wants to listen to these "simple" songs again and again and is never bored. Excellent diction too: one can understand fast every word (even no English people like me...)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Folk songs with a difference, 13 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Folksongs (Audio CD)
I was delighted when a search for lyrics led to the discovery of a whole album sung by Peter Pears accompanied by Benjamin Britten playing his own arrangements.There is such empathy between the musicians that voice and piano fit together seamlessly giving new meaning to old songs. Interpretations are never in doubt nor enjoyment in their performance.
e g Sweet Polly Oliver comes alive in the detached notes and rhythm of her movement, a feisty girl who knows what she wants and gets it.The young apprentice who loves Sally puts up with merciless teasing - the voice is that of a callow youth.The lament for the Earl of Moray is sung by a Scot and just as Pears sings in character so Britten is able to suggest the drone of bagpipes. A harp is plucked in The Minstrel Boy, the ambitious plough boy whistles cheekily and waves lap hypnotically in Waly, Waly.
In The Miller of Dee the piano suggests the rushing water in the mill race and the grinding of the stones.The sound becomes wilder as notes seem to merge together, no lark song but one of anger and finally despair.
Ca' the yowes is a gentle contrast - there is some help in the booklet with this dialect - and the selection ends on an upbeat note with the plough boy on his way to becoming a peer.
I am sure I shall enjoy listening to these songs many times. However I do regret that the booklet does not include lyrics. Hearing does not improve with age and I give up entirely when it comes to French verse.
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Folksongs
Folksongs by Britten (Audio CD - 1991)
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