My True Love Hath My Heart CD
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Sarah Connolly received excellent reviews for her recital performance of English Songs on 11 April 2011 at the Alice Tully Hall in New York. The New York Times wrote: Ms Connolly s voice was strong and steady through its range, velvety, but with a soft, subtle graininess that gave weight and presence to even her most ethereal floated notes. Here the mezzo-soprano, accompanied by Malcolm Martineau on piano, performs four arrangements by Benjamin Britten: three folk songs and one song from an early choral work. These complement the recent Britten CD on Chandos, on which Connolly performs the cantata Phaedra as well as A Charm of Lullabies (CHAN 10671). Next come eleven songs from the 1920s, which is considered the golden decade for English art songs. Among the highlights are By a Bierside, Ivor Gurney s stark reflection on death, written in the World War I trenches, and Herbert Howells s King David which has long been considered a masterpiece. Howells himself said: I am prouder to have written King David than almost anything else of mine. The most recent contribution to this disc of English Songs is the surreally retro A History of the Thé Dansant by Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, which was published in 1995.
Her singing is consistently beautiful in this programme of English songs,encompassing Britten folk-song arrangements and Richard Rodney Bennett's bluesy history of the The Dansant,taking in some of the loveliest lyrical outpourings of Herbert Howells,John Ireland,Ivor Gurney and Michael Head.Connolly is arguably the natural successor to Janet Baker. --Gramophone awards issue '11
Connolly brings the simplicity and veiled ardour which is of their essence. Performance **** Recording **** --BBC Music Magazine,Dec'11
Connolly and Martineau make an impressive double act. Her voice has such a pleasing weight and texture.**** --Classic fm Magazine,Dec'11
In short,Connolly and her supersensitive accompanist,Malcom Martineau,ideally recorded,are throughout simply ideal in this treasurable repertoire. --IRR,Oct'11
Sarah Connolly sings immaculately,with sensitive accompamiment from Malcolm Martineau,in sound both clear and perfectly balanced. --Gramophone,Jan'12
Top Customer Reviews
The programme begins with three of Britten's folksong arrangements ("O Waly Waly", "How Sweet the Answer", and "Early One Morning"), along with an arrangement of the Corpus Christi Carol from "A Boy Was Born". As Michael Pilkington notes, Britten's folksong arrangements were distinctive in that he imbued them with his personal style rather than simply setting the original tune without embellishment.
There are four songs by Herbert Howells, the undoubted highlight of which is King David. The stature of this song is borne out by the fact that Howells himself considered it to be his finest, and Walter de la Mare, who provided the text, wanted no-one else to set it after Howells had done so. On this recording Sarah Connolly gives it a beautiful, unhurried treatment, wonderfully emphasising the change of key at "he rose". "Come Sing and Dance" is brim full of gladness, and Connolly fully conveys the mood of ecstasy in the tone of her voice. Other Howells songs are the ever-popular Gavotte, and the lesser-known "Lost Love".Read more ›