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Oh Fair to See
Song Cycles for Tenor & Piano by Gerald Finzi

James Gilchrist, tenor
Anna Tilbrook, piano


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James Gilchrist is in much demand as a recitalist, as a soloist in concert appearances in opera and he is also a keen exponent of contemporary music.

Most of the poems set on this recording are by Thomas Hardy.   He is a poet with whom Gerald Finzi (1901-56) is inextricably linked - nearly half of Finzi's 160 song settings are of Hardy.   English poetry was probably Finzi's deepest interest - he read poetry because he loved it (ie; not just to find words to set a song to).   Finzi would gather songs into collections which meant that Oh Fair to See and Till Earth Outwears were gathered together and posthumously assigned opus numbers.

    “James Gilchrist is superb throughout, with every note of fast passaggi perfectly placed and a remarkable ability to sustain a legato line.” - George Pratt - BBC Music Magazine December 2004
    “Gilchrist could hardly have done it more gloriously - much lighter, freer than most English singers…   He has a light lyric voice, and sounds glorious….   Gilchrist's voice is perfectly formed, and apart from being sweet, it expresses a real person.   He revealed an impressive range and depth of expression.   I loved the way he shaped his tone, too, as if it were a ribbon floating in the air…” - Adrian Jack - The Independent 09/02/01

Oh fair to see
  1. I say “I'll seek her side”
  2. Oh fair to see
  3. As I lay in the early sun
  4. Only the wanderer
  5. To Joy
  6. Harvest
  7. Since we loved

Till Earth Outwears
  8. Let me enjoy the earth
  9. In years defaced
10. The Market-Girl
11. I look into my glass
12. It never looks like summer here
13. At a lunar eclipse
14. Life laughs onwards

A Young Man's Exhortation
Part I: 'Mane floreat, et transeat'
15. A Young Man's Exhortation
16. Ditty
17. Budmouth Dears
18. Her Temple
19. The Comet at Yell'ham

Part II: 'Vespere decidat, induret et arescat'
20. Shortening Days
21. The Sigh
22. Former Beauties
23. Transformations
24. The Dance Continued



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