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Britten: Complete Scottish Songs

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
This album featuring tenor Mark Wilde contains all of Britten's music with Scottish roots, including his original settings of texts by Scots authors like Robert Burns and William Soutar as well as his arrangements of folk songs. "A Birthday Hansel," using Burns' poetry, was written for Queen Elizabeth's 75th birthday in 1976 and was his last song cycle. Britten scored it for tenor and harp, citing the authenticity of harp accompaniment in the Highlands tradition. The harp provides transitions between the songs, so the cycle is musically continuous. "Who are these children?" is also a late work, dating from 1969 with texts by Soutar, a mid-20th century poet. The album ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
This album featuring tenor Mark Wilde contains all of Britten's music with Scottish roots, including his original settings of texts by Scots authors like Robert Burns and William Soutar as well as his arrangements of folk songs. "A Birthday Hansel," using Burns' poetry, was written for Queen Elizabeth's 75th birthday in 1976 and was his last song cycle. Britten scored it for tenor and harp, citing the authenticity of harp accompaniment in the Highlands tradition. The harp provides transitions between the songs, so the cycle is musically continuous. "Who are these children?" is also a late work, dating from 1969 with texts by Soutar, a mid-20th century poet. The album concludes with Colin Matthews' effective arrangements of four of the Burns songs with piano accompaniment. Wilde has a pleasant voice but his vowels aren't bright, and their somewhat covered quality sometimes comes across as slightly nasal. This tendency is especially noticeable in the most melismatic passages, such as "My Early Walk" from "A Birthday Hansel," where a single vowel can be strung out for quite a while. He excels in bringing sharp characterization to the songs, which these pieces -- art songs with roots in folk culture -- require in order not to sound precious. He is also effective in singing with unmannered naturalness. Pianist David Owen Norris and harpist Lucy Wakeford provide sensitive accompaniments. Naxos' sound is clean, present, and well-balanced.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/30/2011
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313270675
  • Catalog Number: 8572706
  • Sales rank: 327,921

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–7 A Birthday Hansel, song cycle for tenor & harp, Op. 92 - Benjamin Britten & Lucy Wakeford (19:24)
  2. 8–19 Who are these Children?, song cycle for tenor & piano, Op. 84 - Benjamin Britten & David Owen Norris (20:50)
  3. 9 Cradle Song: Sleep, my darling, sleep, song for high voice & piano - Benjamin Britten & David Owen Norris (3:13)
  4. 10 Beware!, early songs (3) for medium voice & piano: O that I'd ne'er been married - Benjamin Britten & David Owen Norris (1:24)
  5. 11 Ca' the yowes, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 5) - Benjamin Britten & David Owen Norris (5:00)
  6. 12 There's None to Soothe, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 3) - Benjamin Britten & David Owen Norris (1:48)
  7. 13 O can ye sew cushions, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 1) - Benjamin Britten & David Owen Norris (2:23)
  8. 14 The Bonny Earl o' Moray, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 1) - Benjamin Britten & David Owen Norris (3:14)
  9. 15 Bonny at morn, for high voice & guitar (Folk Songs, Vol. 6) - Benjamin Britten & Lucy Wakeford (3:59)
  10. 16 Come you not from Newcastle?, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 3) - Benjamin Britten & David Owen Norris (1:23)
  11. 17 Dawtie's Devotion, song for voice & piano (discarded from "Who are these Children," Op. 84) - Benjamin Britten & David Owen Norris (1:08)
  12. 18 The Gully, song for voice & piano (discarded from "Who are these Children," Op. 84) - Benjamin Britten & David Owen Norris (0:55)
  13. 19 Tradition, song for voice & piano (discarded from "Who are these Children," Op. 84) - Benjamin Britten & David Owen Norris (0:54)
  14. 20 A Birthday Hansel, song cycle for tenor & harp, Op. 92: 1. Afton Water - Benjamin Britten & Colin Matthews (3:00)
  15. 21 A Birthday Hansel, song cycle for tenor & harp, Op. 92: 2. Wee Willie - Benjamin Britten & Colin Matthews (0:57)
  16. 22 A Birthday Hansel, song cycle for tenor & harp, Op. 92: 3. The Winter - Benjamin Britten & Colin Matthews (2:53)
  17. 23 A Birthday Hansel, song cycle for tenor & harp, Op. 92: 4. My Hoggie - Benjamin Britten & Colin Matthews (1:55)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Mark Wilde Primary Artist
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