“At last a disc devoted to the forgotten songs of Lennox Berkeley. Gilchrist is his own man: a fine artist and particularly well suited to these songs. Anna Tilbrook is the totally admirable accompanist, with Alison Nicholls the harpist in the attractive Herrick settings.”
Gramophone - September 2009
“Tenor James Gilchrist has long been a supporter of the music of Lennox Berkeley and is a powerful advocate on this selection of songs many of which receive their premiere recordings here. Gilchrist sounds ravishing, and is ably supported by Tilbrook and Nicholls”
Classic FM Magazine - October 2009
Performance **** Recording ****
“Gilchrist’s smooth, lightish tenor is the ideal voice for this repertoire: few singers have this ease in floating a line without guttural interruption – in the melisma of ‘De Socrate’ from the Cocteau cycle Trombeaux for example. He demonstrates his characteristic feeling for the words in all these songs, but especially in the multi-poet cycle Autumn’s Legacy. Anna Tilbrook partners with insight and a subtle ear for capturing a song’s mood through timbre; and Alison Nicholls proves equally involving in the harp-accompanied Five Herrick Poems.”
BBC Music Magazine - September 2009
“These are wonderful songs of loss and regret tinged with melancholy at the passing of the seasons and the transience of human existence: Gilchrist and Tilbrook make them their own.”
International Record Review - September 2009
“The tenor James Gilchrist sings sweetly and cleanly, without affection, and Anna Tilbrook is finely responsive to the subtleties of the piano parts.”
The Telegraph - June 2009
“Gilchrist is magnificent. His supple voice caresses these texts with utter grace, and his legato singing is lovely. Anna Tilbrook and Alison Nicholls supply wonderful accompaniment. The sound is excellent. The liner notes include informative commentary by Peter Dickinson and Tony Scotland and complete texts. Berkeley’s unjustly neglected songs get the excellent performances they deserve.”
American Record Guide - November/December 2009
“Gilchrist gives consistently wonderful performances of these works, with his clear voice and intelligent interpretations he is quite masterful at the English songs, in particular, and is well matched to his accompanist Anna Tilbrook, who responds admirably to Berkeley’s keen grasp of counterpoint (presumably learnt under Boulanger) which underpins much of his keyboard writing. Alison Nicholls’ deft harp-technique delivers a welcome change of texture at the mid-point of this recording and she makes light work of what is very difficult music indeed. In some ways I would have enjoyed more obvious changes of atmosphere between the French and English works, in particular, but such is the potency of Berkeley’s textures that on repeated listening this ceases to matter.
As ever with Chandos, the album is beautifully presented and recorded with their characteristic clarity and depth of field, all of which really captures the enjoyment of these artists in their performances. It is wonderful to have such a collection of Berkeley’s songs and this album is sure to inspire many listeners to discover more of his music.”
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