JAMES GILCHRIST (tenor), ANNA TILBROOK (piano), PHILIP DUKES (VIOLA)
Having previously recorded British repertoire on Chandos, James Gilchrist joins the pianist Anna Tilbrook nine years after their previous recording, in a lyrical journey through some of Vaughan Williams’s best songs and rarely heard chamber works. They are joined by Philip Dukes, ‘Great Britain’s most outstanding viola player’, according to The Times.
This album captures the composer’s love for both the voice and the viola, bringing together five works for tenor and piano, two for tenor, viola, and piano, and two works for viola and piano alone.
Central to the recording is the fresh, invigorating, and at times reflective cycle Songs of Travel, composed between 1901 and 1904, of special interest is also an arrangement of ‘Rhosymedre’ by the chief music critic of The Times, Richard Morrison, recorded here for the first time and performed by the same forces who gave the premiere of the arrangement in St John’s Smith Square in 2016, to critical acclaim.
James Gilchrist’s latest recording for Linn encompasses three of the greatest examples of the song cycle genre.
Moving away from English song into the core Germanic Lieder repertoire, James’s expressive tenor voice is ideally suited to showcase the emotional nuances of Schumann’s vocal writing. Liederkreis shows Schumann at his most lyrical and deeply romantic; incredibly Op. 24 was his first published vocal composition. Dichterliebe, Schumann’s best-known song cycle, is regarded as one of the finest in the German language, notable for its perfect pairing of Heinrich Heine’s poetry with Schumann’s music.
The charismatic duo of James Gilchrist and Anna Tilbrook continue their exploration of English Song in My Beloved is Mine. This new recording explores the song cycles of Benjamin Britten, including ‘On This Island’, ‘The Holy Sonnets of John Donne’, ‘Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo’ and ‘Canticle I ‘My Beloved is Mine”.
Third and final recording in renowned British tenor James Gilchrist’s series of Schubert song recitals for Orchid Classics. Andrew Mellor in BBC Music referred to Gilchrist’s “treasure-trove of a voice”.
John Jeffreys (b.1927 – d.2010) was a British composer who specialised in music for solo voice. His songs, exemplified by this fine collection, are masterworks of the genre directly in the tradition inherited from Moeran, Delius, Finzi, and especially Warlock. Beautifully performed by James Gilchrist and Anna Tilbrook these works are timeless and will have lasting appeal.