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Kenneth Leighton: Earth, Sweet Earth
Benjamin Britten: Winter Words
James Gilchrist - tenor
Anna Tilbrook - piano
As an interpreter of English song, Gilchrist is often in a class by himself.
Tenor James Gilchrist adds to his widely acclaimed series of albums celebrating British song with this programme by Kenneth Leighton and Benjamin Britten. Alongside pianist Anna Tilbrook, Gilchrist excels in a programme that includes the first modern recording of Leighton's Earth, Sweet Earth and Britten's popular and touching song cycle Winter Words.
Leighton's Earth, Sweet Earth was commissioned in memory of Peter Pears - tenor and life-long partner of Benjamin Britten. This is the first modern recording of this work since the original recording by Neil Mackie for whom the work was written.
Earth, Sweet Earth requires astonishing virtuosity from both vocalist and pianist; the piano taking on an almost orchestral role in settings of text by Ruskin and Hopkins.
Britten wrote Winter Words for Peter Pears. Set to eight poems by Thomas Hardy, this is the composer's most popular song set. James Gilchrist emotively conveys one of Britten's favourite themes: the conflict between innocence and experience.
Gilchrist has established a reputation as the leading figure in English song interpretation following countless concert performances of works by Vaughan Williams, Britten, Finzi, Warlock and Leighton.
James Gilchrist is in demand as a recitalist and chorus member and has performed with The Sixteen in Japan, the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zürich and at the Salzburg Festival, with the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra in Boston and with the Concert Spirituel in London, Luxemburg and Paris.
Pianist Anna Tilbrook (An eloquent partner. Daily Telegraph) displays her substantial talents as an accompanist providing flawless support to long-term performing partner James.
Earth, Sweet Earth (Laudes Terrae), Op. 94
1. I. Prelude -
There was no thought in any of us 11:27
2. II. Inversnaid 04:58
3. III. Contemplation - In the snow 05:08
4. IV. The Ashtree 02:12
5. V. Binsey Poplars 05:31
6. VI. Hurrahing in Harvest 03:25
7. VII. Ribblesdale 07:42
Winter Words, Op. 52
8. I. At Day-close in November 01:33
9. II. Midnight on the Great Western 05:18
10. III. Wagtail and Baby 02:08
11. IV. The Little Old Table 01:24
12. V. The Choirmaster's Burial 04:21
13. VI. Proud Songsters 'Thrushes, Finches
and Nightingales' 01:04
14. VII. At the Railway Station, Upway 03:34
15. VIII. Before Life and After 03:47
Total Running Time 63:46
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