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Britten: Before Life & After, Songs / Padmore, Vignoles

Album Summary

>Britten, Benjamin : Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 35
>Purcell, Henry : A Morning Hymn (Thou wakeful shepherd), Z. 198
>Purcell, Henry : Let the night perish, Z 191 "Job's Curse"
>Purcell, Henry : An Evening Hymn to the Ground, "Now that the sun hath veiled his light"
>Britten, Benjamin : Winter Words, Op. 52
>Niles, John Jacob : I Wonder As I Wander
>Britten, Benjamin : Sail on, sail on (Moore's Irish Melodies, Vol. 4)
>Britten, Benjamin : The Miller of Dee (Folksongs of the British Isles, Vol. 3)
>Britten, Benjamin : At the mid hour of night (Moore's Irish Melodies, Vol. 4)
>Britten, Benjamin : There's none to soothe (Folksongs of the British Isles, Vol. 3)
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

"This is a sterling collection that has at its core the two greatest song cycles by Benjamin Britten, and two of the greatest that the twentieth century produced... if forced, I would choose this one. On top of it all we have superb notes and even better playing by that Gerald Moore accompanist incarnate - but with better sound - Roger Vignoles, truly without peer these days. Absolutely recommended with much enthusiasm!" -Audiophile Audition (audaud.com)

Gramophone Magazine
The Holy Sonnets of John Donne were composed in 1945, soon after Britten's visit to German concentration camps, and the stark immediacy of that experience can be heard in the composer's own recordings. Padmore and Roger Vignoles, his warm-toned accompanist, take a more reflective line. ...the core of the cycle is some heartfelt singing in the sixth and most beautiful setting, "Since she whom I loved". The vivid picture-painting of Winter Words helps make it probably Britten's most popular song-cycle with piano. Several of the Thomas Hardy poems evoke a time of innocence now lost, a familiar Britten theme, and the evocative performance by Padmore and Vignoles captures that sense of longing particularly well.

Sunday Times
Before life and after is the more consoling conclusion to the Hardy cycle, and Padmore lavishes a palette of tone colour to match or even outshine Pears here. His English diction has an unfussy naturalness, and Vignoles captures the descriptive imagery of the piano parts with their descriptions of the train whistle and the boy's violin. Padmore's voice now sounds dark for Purcell, but the three Britten realisations suit it well, and the disc is rounded off by five of Britten's most attractive folk-song arrangements.

BBC Music Magazine
Padmore is on happier ground with the idiosyncratic Purcell realisations, especially in a gem of an 'Evening Hymn', while the Hardy vignettes of Winter Words bring an ideally subtle sense of atmosphere from both singer and pianist.

bbc.co.uk - Charlotte Gardner
This declamatory, religious-themed repertoire fits Padmore like a glove, marrying as it does his enduring success as a performer of early sacred music with his newer success as a chamber recitalist...A satisfying recital on every level.

The Guardian
Padmore's sound is more beautiful and easily expressive than Pears's ever was, but he never imposes his own personality too forcefully, content to let the natural inflections of the bespoke vocal lines in the Donne cycle follow their own course.



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Works Details

>Britten, Benjamin : Holy Sonnets of John Donne, Op. 35
  • Performers: Roger Vignoles (Piano); Mark Padmore
  • Running Time: 23 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1945

>Purcell, Henry : A Morning Hymn (Thou wakeful shepherd), Z. 198
  • Performers: Roger Vignoles (Piano); Mark Padmore
  • Running Time: 3 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: circa 1688

>Purcell, Henry : Let the night perish, Z 191 "Job's Curse"
  • Performers: Roger Vignoles (Piano); Mark Padmore
  • Running Time: 5 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: circa 1687

>Purcell, Henry : An Evening Hymn to the Ground, "Now that the sun hath veiled his light"
  • Performers: Roger Vignoles (Piano); Mark Padmore
  • Running Time: 4 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: circa 1687

>Britten, Benjamin : Winter Words, Op. 52
  • Performers: Roger Vignoles (Piano); Mark Padmore
  • Running Time: 21 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1953

>Niles, John Jacob : I Wonder As I Wander
  • Performers: Roger Vignoles (Piano); Mark Padmore
  • Running Time: 3 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: circa 1925

>Britten, Benjamin : Sail on, sail on (Moore's Irish Melodies, Vol. 4)
  • Performers: Roger Vignoles (Piano); Mark Padmore
  • Running Time: 2 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: circa 1960

>Britten, Benjamin : The Miller of Dee (Folksongs of the British Isles, Vol. 3)
  • Performers: Roger Vignoles (Piano); Mark Padmore
  • Running Time: 2 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: circa 1947

>Britten, Benjamin : At the mid hour of night (Moore's Irish Melodies, Vol. 4)
  • Performers: Roger Vignoles (Piano); Mark Padmore
  • Running Time: 2 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: circa 1960

>Britten, Benjamin : There's none to soothe (Folksongs of the British Isles, Vol. 3)
  • Performers: Roger Vignoles (Piano); Mark Padmore
  • Running Time: 1 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: circa 1947