The Noël Coward Songbook

The Noël Coward Songbook

by Ian Bostridge
     
 

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Tenor Ian Bostridge bids to claim Noël Coward as a classical composer on this album, assisted by pianist Jeffrey Tate and, on five songs, soprano Sophie Daneman. The songs all date from the '20s and '30s, and most of them were associated with Coward's musical revues as well as one of his book musicals, Bitter Sweet. There are also independent songs and songsSee more details below

Overview

Tenor Ian Bostridge bids to claim Noël Coward as a classical composer on this album, assisted by pianist Jeffrey Tate and, on five songs, soprano Sophie Daneman. The songs all date from the '20s and '30s, and most of them were associated with Coward's musical revues as well as one of his book musicals, Bitter Sweet. There are also independent songs and songs used incidentally in the Coward straight plays Cavalcade and Private Lives. Although Bostridge includes "Mad Dogs and Englishmen," and gives it a lively reading, with Daneman joining in on some background burbling, he isn't much interested in the witty Coward. Rather, the recording has the air of a classical recital, with the singer in tuxedo standing before a grand piano. Coward is not anathema to such an approach, of course. Despite being of common birth and limited education (not to mention being a self-taught musician), he affected an upper class manner consistent with Bostridge's treatment of his music here; in fact, Coward himself recorded these songs in his own tenor and sometimes with similar piano accompaniment. But Bostridge doesn't quite succeed in turning Coward into Schubert. The lyrics, though often poetic, also drop into vernacular here and there, and sometimes would benefit from a less formal interpretation. And then, too, this is only one part of Coward's talent as a composer; his humor is mostly missing. Maybe that's just to say that instead of being called The Noël Coward Songbook, this album should have been called "A Noël Coward Songbook."

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/12/2008
Label:
Warner Classics
UPC:
5099950901920
catalogNumber:
09019

Tracks

  1. I Travel Alone
  2. Parisian Pierrot
  3. Poor little rich girl
  4. World Weary (used in Cochran's revue "This Year of Grace")
  5. Mary Make-Believe (used in Cochran's revue "This Year of Grace")
  6. A Room with a View (used in Cochran's revue "This Year of Grace")
  7. Dance, Little Lady (used in Cochran's revue "This Year of Grace")
  8. If you could only come with me
  9. I'll See You Again, song (from "Bitter Sweet")
  10. Zigeuner
  11. A Dream of Youth (The Dream Is Over)
  12. Any Little Fish, song (from Cochran's 1931 Revue)
  13. Twentieth Century blues
  14. Mad Dogs and Englishmen (used in Cochran's revue "Words And Music")
  15. Let's Say Good-bye (used in Cochran's revue "Words And Music")
  16. Something To Do With Spring (used in Cochran's revue "Words And Music")
  17. The Party's Over Now (used in Cochran's revue "Words And Music")
  18. Someday I'll Find You (used in the stage production of "Private Lives")
  19. Never Again (for an American version of Cochran's revue "Words And Musi

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