These are, in general, wonderful performances of VW's principal songs. These are masterful settings of fine poems and too often treated dismissively by those who should know better. Iain Burnside is such a sensitive and brilliant partner to the singer that you hear many marvellous nuances of colour and timing from Burnside that illuminate the equally-sensitive treatment of the text by Williams. However the empathy between singer and pianist is so complete that what you experience is the music; rather than being aware of either as a "performer". Roderick Williams has a beautifully produced voice of rich timbre that always sounds fully under his control. Every note is centred and his immaculate diction means that the meaning of the sung text is immediate and firmly projected. From this very quality, however, comes my one reservation. The Songs of Travel are a true song-cycle with a series of scenes that tell a story of almost operatic power, finally resolving in the late posthumous concluding song that draws together themes from the whole cycle in a valedictory reminiscence. For me, Williams' diction has far too much "received pronunciation" to convince as the earthy character of Stevenson's vagabond. Hard to believe that Williams is a Yorkshireman. I'm not saying that it needs a "regional" accent, but there needs to be something much rougher around the edges than we get here. (There's a good disc of an identical programme made by Benjamin Luxon, but I have not been able to hear this recently. My recollection is that it avoided this pitfall, without being in all other ways ideal). However, apart from this one grouse, I know of no better performance with piano than this one and as a Naxos disc it is both finely recorded and impressively good value.