Songs for Ariel

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
James Bowman is a member of the second generation of modern countertenors, an admirer of Alfred Deller who has cultivated that master's melancholy, moderate-sized style rather than the big Baroque castrato sound favored by younger countertenors. Well into his seventh decade, which is old for a countertenor, he offers here a retrospective recital of personal favorites, with liner notes of his own explaining the significance each piece holds in his musical life. This is something more singers ought to try; given the chance to hear performances of classical music as creative responses to given situations, audiences will do so. Still, this is probably a disc for those already...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
James Bowman is a member of the second generation of modern countertenors, an admirer of Alfred Deller who has cultivated that master's melancholy, moderate-sized style rather than the big Baroque castrato sound favored by younger countertenors. Well into his seventh decade, which is old for a countertenor, he offers here a retrospective recital of personal favorites, with liner notes of his own explaining the significance each piece holds in his musical life. This is something more singers ought to try; given the chance to hear performances of classical music as creative responses to given situations, audiences will do so. Still, this is probably a disc for those already interested in this particular performer rather than those looking for an initiation into the wonderful world of the male high voice. The first part of Songs for Ariel focuses mostly on theatrical music by Purcell and Handel, music that really requires more firepower than Bowman brings to it. The modern English pieces that make up the second half of the disc are more successful; they were mostly written with Deller and his followers in mind, and Bowman shows his considerable elegance of phrasing in, for example, the subtle, unsettling octave leaps of Peter Warlock's "The Night." The album's title piece, by Michael Tippett, was actually written for Deller, but Bowman seems less than enthusiastic about it. He excels, however, in the "Woodcutters Song" from Ralph Vaughan Williams' "The Pilgrims Progress," which was not originally written for countertenor; Bowman was assured by Vaughan Williams' widow that he would have composed music for countertenor had he lived to witness the renaissance of the genre. There are beautiful moments on the album that will be cherished by Bowman's admirers; among them is the opening "Salve regina" chant, which Bowman remembered from boyhood performances as a chorister at Ely Cathedral. The sound environment of the Abbaye de Saint-Michel en Thierache in Aisne, France, is especially flattering to Bowman's voice.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/14/2006
  • Label: Satirino France
  • EAN: 3760061190528
  • Catalog Number: 52
  • Sales rank: 213,933

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Salve regina - Anonymous, English & James Bowman (2:53)
  2. 2 If my complaints could passions move, for 4 voices & lute (First Book of Songs) - John Dowland & John Dowland (3:01)
  3. 3 Sweeter than roses (from "Pausanius"), song, Z. 585/1 - Henry Purcell & James Bowman (3:25)
  4. 4 Welcome to all the pleasures (A Ode for St. Cecilia's Day), for soloists, chorus & instruments, Z. 339: Here the deities approve - Henry Purcell & James Bowman (2:55)
  5. 5 I attempt from Love's Sickness to Fly (from "The Indian Queen"), Z630/17a - Henry Purcell & James Bowman (1:48)
  6. 6 Fairest Isle (from "King Arthur"), aria for soprano, Z. 628/38 - Henry Purcell & James Bowman (3:39)
  7. 7–8 Ho fuggito Amore anch'io, cantata for alto, HWV 118 - George Frideric Handel & James Bowman (7:42)
  8. 8 Agrippina, opera, HWV 6: Tacero, pur che fedele - George Frideric Handel & James Bowman (5:08)
  9. 9 A Hymn To The Virgin, Op.13/2 - Edmund Rubbra & James Bowman (2:24)
  10. 10 The Woodcutter's Song, for voice & clarinet (Songs from The Pilgrim's Progress No. 6) - Ralph Vaughan Williams & James Bowman (2:31)
  11. 11 A Midsummer Night's Dream, opera, Op. 64: I know a bank - Benjamin Britten & William Shakespeare (4:10)
  12. 12 The Salley Gardens, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 1) - Benjamin Britten & James Bowman (2:27)
  13. 13 The Night, for voice & piano - Hilaire Belloc & Peter Warlock (2:30)
  14. 15–17 Songs for Ariel, for voice & piano (or harpsichord) - Michael Tippett & William Shakespeare (5:02)
  15. 16 King David for voice & piano - Herbert Howells & James Bowman (5:31)
  16. 17 Epitaph for Salomon Pavey, for voice & piano - Andrew Gant & James Bowman (3:22)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
James Bowman Primary Artist
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