Ivor Gurney: Ludlow and Teme; The Western Playland; Ralph Vaughan Williams: On Wenlock Edge

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All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
Ardent collectors of British art songs will quickly snap up this disc, but others may find an album of song cycles on A.E. Housman's A Shropshire Lad somewhat quaint and a bit of a specialty item. The three cycles -- "On Wenlock Edge" by Ralph Vaughan Williams and "The Western Playland" and "Ludlow and Teme" by Ivor Gurney -- date from 1907-1909 and reflect the sentimental, sweet emotionalism of the Edwardian era. The settings for male voices, string quartet, and piano are quite precious and lush, as might be expected in works of this period. Vaughan Williams lavishes six of Housman's poems with a moody, Impressionistic atmosphere, and his conception is quite expansive ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
Ardent collectors of British art songs will quickly snap up this disc, but others may find an album of song cycles on A.E. Housman's A Shropshire Lad somewhat quaint and a bit of a specialty item. The three cycles -- "On Wenlock Edge" by Ralph Vaughan Williams and "The Western Playland" and "Ludlow and Teme" by Ivor Gurney -- date from 1907-1909 and reflect the sentimental, sweet emotionalism of the Edwardian era. The settings for male voices, string quartet, and piano are quite precious and lush, as might be expected in works of this period. Vaughan Williams lavishes six of Housman's poems with a moody, Impressionistic atmosphere, and his conception is quite expansive and nearly symphonic in scope. In contrast, Gurney takes a more straightforward folk song approach, and his lyrical settings move rather briskly, even when slower, more pensive music might have suited the texts better. Tenor Adrian Thompson and baritone Stephen Varcoe perform these songs with dignity and gentleness; and the Delmé Quartet and pianist Ian Burnside provide subdued accompaniments that never overwhelm the singers. Recorded in 1989 and reissued here in the Helios line, the disc offers fine sound quality, though it is a little muted in places.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/11/2005
  • Label: Hyperion Uk
  • UPC: 034571151878
  • Catalog Number: 55187

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–6 On Wenlock Edge, song cycle for tenor, piano & string quartet (or tenor & orchestra) - Ralph Vaughan Williams & Delme String Quartet (23:15)
  2. 7–14 The Western Playland, for voice & piano - Ivor Gurney & Delme String Quartet (24:57)
  3. 15–21 Ludlow and Teme - Ivor Gurney & Delme String Quartet (20:46)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Stephen Varcoe Primary Artist
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