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English Song Series Vol. 22 - Britten: Songs; Proverbs of William Blake; Tit for Tat; Folk Songs / Roderick Williams, baritone; Iain Burnside, piano

> Songs and Proverbs of William Blake, Op. 74 - I. Proverb I: The pride of the peacock
> Songs and Proverbs of William Blake, Op. 74 - II. London
> Songs and Proverbs of William Blake, Op. 74 - III. Proverb II: Prisons are built
> Songs and Proverbs of William Blake, Op. 74 - IV. The Chimney-Sweeper
> Songs and Proverbs of William Blake, Op. 74 - V. Proverb III: The bird a nest
> Songs and Proverbs of William Blake, Op. 74 - VI. A Poison Tree
> Songs and Proverbs of William Blake, Op. 74 - VII. Proverb IV: Think in the morning
> Songs and Proverbs of William Blake, Op. 74 - VIII. The Tyger
> Songs and Proverbs of William Blake, Op. 74 - IX. Proverb V: The tygers of wrath
> Songs and Proverbs of William Blake, Op. 74 - X. The Fly
> Songs and Proverbs of William Blake, Op. 74 - XI. Proverb VI: The hours of folly
> Songs and Proverbs of William Blake, Op. 74 - XII. Ah! Sun-flower!
> Songs and Proverbs of William Blake, Op. 74 - XIII. Proverb VII: To see a World
> Songs and Proverbs of William Blake, Op. 74 - XIV. Every Night and Every Morn
> Tit for Tat - No. 1. A Song of enchantment
> Tit for Tat - No. 2. Autumn
> Tit for Tat - No. 3. Silver
> Tit for Tat - No. 4. Vigil
> Tit for Tat - No. 5. Tit for Tat
> Folk Song Arrangements, Vol. 3, "British Isles" - No. 1. The Plough Boy
> Folk Song Arrangements, Vol. 3, "British Isles" - No. 5. The Foggy, Foggy Dew
> Tom Bowling and Other Song Arrangements - Tom Bowling and Other Song Arrangements: No. 1. Tom Bowling
> Folk Song Arrangements, Vol. 3, "British Isles" - Folk Song Arrangements, Vol. 3, "British Isles": No. 6. O Waly, Waly
> Folk Song Arrangements, Vol. 1, "British Isles" - No. 7. Oliver Cromwell
> Folk Song Arrangements, Vol. 1, "British Isles" - No. 6. The Ash Grove
> Folk Song Arrangements, Vol. 1, "British Isles" - No. 1. The Salley Gardens
> Folk Song Arrangements, Vol. 3, "British Isles" - Folk Song Arrangements, Vol. 3, "British Isles": No. 2. There's none to soothe
> Folk Song Arrangements, Vol. 1, "British Isles" - Folk Song Arrangements, Vol. 1, "British Isles": No. 2. Little Sir William
> Folk Song Arrangements, Vol. 5, "British Isles" - Folk Song Arrangements, Vol. 5, "British Isles": No. 5. Ca' the yowes

Album Summary

>Britten, Benjamin : Songs and Proverbs of W. Blake, song cycle for baritone & piano, Op. 74
>Britten, Benjamin : Tit for Tat
>Britten, Benjamin : The Plough Boy, folksong for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 3)
>Britten, Benjamin : Folksongs (7), Volume 3
>Britten, Benjamin : Tom Bowling and Other Song Arrangements, for voice & piano
>Britten, Benjamin : Oliver Cromwell, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 1)
>Britten, Benjamin : The Ash Grove, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 1)
>Britten, Benjamin : Folksongs (7), Volume 1
>Britten, Benjamin : There's none to soothe (Folksongs of the British Isles, Vol. 3)
>Britten, Benjamin : Little Sir William, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 1)
>Britten, Benjamin : Ca' the yowes, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 5)
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

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 folksong arrangements are amongst his most famous, and beloved. The baritone Roderick Williams encompasses a wide repertoire, from baroque to contemporary music, in the opera house, on the concert platform and in recital. His recital appearances have taken him to London's Wigmore Hall and many European festivals. He has an extensive discography and his recordings of English song with Iain Burnside have received particular acclaim.

"This sombre, discomfiting song-cycle [the Blake settings] remains a strikingly modern-sounding work, thanks partly to Blake’s existential poetry and aphoristic proverbs. Williams illuminates the text, but it’s a relief to move on to Britten’s boyhood settings of Walter de la Mare" -The Financial Times

"Williams finds an ideal emotional stance - involved, totally word-conscious but never melodramatic...as a recorded recital, Williams - and Burnside, who is similarly colourful but keeps an interpretative distance from pumping up the text - have created an outstanding achievement." -Gramophone

The Guardian
Williams's voice is lighter than Fischer-Dieskau's, but his response to the texts is so intense, so well judged that there is never a lack of authority. The juvenile Walter De la Mare settings of Tit for Tat provide the perfect foil, followed by some of Britten's best-known folksong arrangements, all beautifully delivered without a trace of archness.

BBC Music Magazine
Williams brings a gentler, more intimate touch to what Fischer-Dieskau called their 'enigmatic smile': Blake's Tyger burns bright but with less fierce teeth, and there is more melancholy than menace in this performance's view of the human condition. Every beautifully placed word is matched by Iain Burnside's recreation of Britten's pianistic subtext, glinting with many a revealing musical gloss.

American Record Guide, September / October 2012
One could hardly wish for a better showcase than these three items by Britten. There is seriousness in the Blake, a wonderful assortment of humor in the Folk-Songs, and a bit of both in Tit for Tat. And Williams has such a wondrous voice to show off. His is no affected, artificial kind of Englishness. He sounds as if he is telling a story for all, no condescension. Simplicity is preeminent. A warmly expressive timbre fills the ear with beauty; immaculate enunciation clearly tells the story. Best of all is the gentle, radiant personality that Williams displays. He is someone I would like to meet as well as hear singing.

MusicWeb International, July 2012
It would be easy to exaggerate the claims of these songs [Tit for Tat], but presented so cleanly and with such understanding as do Williams and his superb pianist, Iain Burnside, they make just the effect the mature composer surely intended.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk (01/04/2011-01/06/2011).



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Works Details

>Britten, Benjamin : Songs and Proverbs of W. Blake, song cycle for baritone & piano, Op. 74
  • Performers: Iain Burnside (Piano); Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk (01/04/2011-01/06/2011)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1965

>Britten, Benjamin : Tit for Tat
  • Performers: Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone); Iain Burnside (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk (01/04/2011-01/06/2011)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1931

>Britten, Benjamin : The Plough Boy, folksong for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 3)
  • Performers: Iain Burnside (Piano); Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk (01/04/2011-01/06/2011)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Britten, Benjamin : Folksongs (7), Volume 3
  • Performers: Iain Burnside (Piano); Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk (01/04/2011-01/06/2011)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Britten, Benjamin : Tom Bowling and Other Song Arrangements, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Iain Burnside (Piano); Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk (01/04/2011-01/06/2011)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Britten, Benjamin : Folksongs (7), Volume 3
  • Performers: Iain Burnside (Piano); Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk (01/04/2011-01/06/2011)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Britten, Benjamin : Oliver Cromwell, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 1)
  • Performers: Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone); Iain Burnside (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk (01/04/2011-01/06/2011)
  • Period Time: Modern

>Britten, Benjamin : The Ash Grove, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 1)
  • Performers: Iain Burnside (Piano); Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk (01/04/2011-01/06/2011)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Vocal

>Britten, Benjamin : Folksongs (7), Volume 1
  • Performers: Iain Burnside (Piano); Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk (01/04/2011-01/06/2011)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: circa 1943

>Britten, Benjamin : There's none to soothe (Folksongs of the British Isles, Vol. 3)
  • Performers: Iain Burnside (Piano); Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk (01/04/2011-01/06/2011)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: circa 1947

>Britten, Benjamin : Little Sir William, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 1)
  • Performers: Iain Burnside (Piano); Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk (01/04/2011-01/06/2011)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Britten, Benjamin : Ca' the yowes, for voice & piano (Folk Songs, Vol. 5)
  • Performers: Iain Burnside (Piano); Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk (01/04/2011-01/06/2011)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern