Britten: Songs and Proverbs of William Blake; Tit for Tat; Folk-songs

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Naxos continues its ambitious English Song Series with a 22nd installment, two song cycles and a collection of folk song arrangements by Britten performed by baritone Roderick Williams and pianist Iain Burnside. Williams is best known as a Mozart singer, but he has worked extensively with contemporary composers. He has a pure, transparent tone with an open, appealing timbre. He is capable of real power and volume, and he brings a limber athleticism to the songs. In the tradition of the best Britten singers, his interpretations are sculpturally nuanced and reflect a fine understanding of the interplay between the music and texts. He doesn't entirely avoid the preciousness...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Naxos continues its ambitious English Song Series with a 22nd installment, two song cycles and a collection of folk song arrangements by Britten performed by baritone Roderick Williams and pianist Iain Burnside. Williams is best known as a Mozart singer, but he has worked extensively with contemporary composers. He has a pure, transparent tone with an open, appealing timbre. He is capable of real power and volume, and he brings a limber athleticism to the songs. In the tradition of the best Britten singers, his interpretations are sculpturally nuanced and reflect a fine understanding of the interplay between the music and texts. He doesn't entirely avoid the preciousness that can bedevil Britten singers, and his lack of consistency with vowel placement can be a distraction; he falls prey to the tendency common to some British singers to bend vowels, particularly "o," so that "low" becomes "le-ow," and doesn't quite rhyme with "go" in the following line of verse. Britten wrote "Tit for Tat," a setting of five poems by Walter de la Mare, between the ages of 13 and 17, so it is not surprisingly less probing in the depths of its exploration of the texts than his mature pieces, but it is amazingly assured and sophisticated to be the work of a teenager. He wrote "Songs and Proverbs of William Blake" for Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in 1965. Among its songs are some of his most progressive incursions into modernism, which he integrates skillfully with his ties to tonal art song; "Proverb I" and "London" are especially impressive examples. The folk songs are delightfully lyrical, lovely, and simple without being simplistic. The accompaniment for "The Songs and Proverbs" is tricky to pull off convincingly, but Burnside makes musical sense of it and he plays the folk songs with affecting emotional directness. Naxos' sound is clear, clean, lively, and warmly ambient, with an excellent sense of presence
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/29/2012
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313260072
  • Catalog Number: 8572600
  • Sales rank: 354,985

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–14 Songs and Proverbs of W. Blake, song cycle for baritone & piano, Op. 74 - Benjamin Britten & William Blake (26:05)
    Composed byBenjamin Britten
    Performed byRoderick Williams
    1. 1Proverb 1
    2. 2London
    3. 3Proverb 2
    4. 4The Chimney-Sweeper
    5. 5Proverb 3
    6. 6A Poison Tree
    7. 7Proverb 4
    8. 8The Tyger
    9. 9Proverb 5
    10. 10The Fly
    11. 11Proverb 6
    12. 12Ah! Sun-flower
    13. 13Proverb 7
    14. 14Every night and every morn
  2. 15–19 Tit for Tat, song cycle for voice & piano - Benjamin Britten & Walter de la Mare (8:39)
    Composed byBenjamin Britten
    Performed byRoderick Williams
    1. 15A Song of Enchantment
    2. 16Autumn
    3. 17Silver
    4. 18Vigil
    5. 19Tit for Tat
  3. 20 The Plough Boy, folksong for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 3) - Benjamin Britten & Roderick Williams (1:44)
    Composed byBenjamin Britten
    Performed byRoderick Williams
  4. 21 The Foggy, Foggy Dew, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 3) - Benjamin Britten & Roderick Williams (2:03)
    Composed byBenjamin Britten
    Performed byRoderick Williams
  5. 22 Tom Bowling and Other Song Arrangements, for voice & piano - Charles Dibdin & Benjamin Britten (4:29)
    Composed byBenjamin Britten
    Performed byRoderick Williams
  6. 23 O Waly, Waly, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 3) - Benjamin Britten & Roderick Williams (3:18)
    Composed byBenjamin Britten
    Performed byRoderick Williams
  7. 24 Oliver Cromwell, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 1) - Benjamin Britten & Roderick Williams (0:44)
    Composed byBenjamin Britten
    Performed byRoderick Williams
  8. 25 The Ash Grove, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 1) - Benjamin Britten & Roderick Williams (2:24)
    Composed byBenjamin Britten
    Performed byRoderick Williams
  9. 26 The Salley Gardens, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 1) - Benjamin Britten & Roderick Williams (2:29)
    Composed byBenjamin Britten
    Performed byRoderick Williams
  10. 27 There's None to Soothe, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 3) - Benjamin Britten & Roderick Williams (1:40)
    Composed byBenjamin Britten
    Performed byRoderick Williams
  11. 28 Little Sir William, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 1) - Benjamin Britten & Roderick Williams (2:44)
    Composed byBenjamin Britten
    Performed byRoderick Williams
  12. 29 Ca' the yowes, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 5) - Benjamin Britten & Roderick Williams (4:10)
    Composed byBenjamin Britten
    Performed byRoderick Williams
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Roderick Williams Primary Artist
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