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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Annelies - James Whitbourn, 18 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Whitbourn: Annelies (Westminster William Voices, Lincoln Trio) (Naxos: 8573070) (Audio CD)
James Whitbourn's "Annelies" is a wonderfully poignant piece of music. This recording captures the essence of Anne Frank's tragic story, and is handled with a great sensitivity by all the musicians and artists involved.
Soprano, Arianna Zukerman manages to portray the fragility, but also the enormous strength of Anne Frank with her warm, bright tone. The use of the melody from "It's a long way to Tipperary" seemed a little disjointed from the rest of the piece in terms of style, but having said that it is a clever technique used by Whitbourn to show that no-one was immune from the effects of war.
The Westminster Williamson Voices evokes a wonderful atmosphere when they are singing and demonstrate a great versatility in their ability to sing with such blended and rounded tone, but they are still able to transfer this to the more frantic pieces, where a "colder" more "jagged" sound is required, this shows the skill of both the choir and their conductor, conducted here by James Jordan. The use of only a few instruments is very effective in making the piece feel more intimate than it might otherwise have done had the composer used a full orchestra, which Whitbourn did in an earlier version of the piece.
The music is played with a great sensitivity by violinist Desiree Ruhstrat, cellist David Cunliffe, and pianist Marta Aznavoorian, who, together make up The Lincoln Trio. Their music was some of the most heart-breakingly beautiful in the whole piece.
Clarinetist Bharat Chandra played wonderfully and added another dimension to the piece.
This is a piece I wouldn't have immediately chosen, but after hearing it's haunting beauty, I'm so glad and feel privileged to have heard this piece of music about a young girl whose life was tragically cut short by a war which scarred every country the world over.
It is only because of the likes of Anne Frank, writing everything down that we have an insight into the personal struggles of civilians during the war. Thankyou Anne Frank for writing such powerful words and thankyou James Whitbourn for composing such sensitively poignant music.
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