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BRITTEN, B.: Songs and Proverbs of William Blake / Tit for Tat / Folk Song Arrangements (English Song, Vol. 22) (R. Williams, Burnside)

Composer(s):Britten, Benjamin
Artist(s) Williams, Roderick, baritone • Burnside, Iain, piano
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Vocal
Catalogue 8.572600
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Album Price
USD 6.99


Britten wrote his Songs and Proverbs of William Blake, Op 74 for the German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in 1965. The singer admired the ‘concentration and enigmatic smile’ of the settings, and Britten constructed, through alternation of proverbs with songs, and an intense contemplation on the human and the eternal, one of his greatest song cycles. By contrast Tit for Tat sees Britten revisiting youthful, light-spirited settings of the poet Walter de la Mare. The folk-song arrangements are amongst his most famous, and beloved.


Review By William Hedley ,MusicWeb International,July 2012

This disc couples a masterpiece from Britten’s maturity and songs written in his youth. The latter were revived and gathered together as a set in his later years…beautifully sung here. There is a very brisk Plough Boy, and Roderick Williams tones in his voice beautifully for the gentler numbers. Ca’ the yowes, a minor masterpiece, is magnificently grand. Overall, the delivery is simple, neither folk-song nor art-song, and refreshingly avoiding the coy or arch in the likes of The foggy, foggy dew. No, Williams presents them unadorned, and with a beautiful legato line, as a series of lovely tunes with inventive and striking accompaniments.



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