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Pure Welsh Magic

Richard Lewis,
the great tenor -
heard by
ALICE McVEIGH

'... beg, borrow or steal.'

Richard Lewis - The Great Welsh Tenor. Handel Arias; British Folksongs. © 2011 Regis Records

When I was offered this CD for review, I immediately agreed, because my father, an excellent amateur tenor, always adored Richard Lewis: I therefore grew up, in darkest Burma (and slightly more effete Singapore and Bangkok) hearing Lewis' voice during the sixties and seventies.

At first I felt a little disappointed by this CD, with the very first item boasting a meaty attack from the LSO, along with a rather dogged tightness and occasional infelicity of intonation in the voice. However, the second aria displayed all that I had remembered. Admittedly the LSO, under Sir Malcolm Sargent, remained heavy-handed, plummy and a little 'beat-y' to a modern ear, but Lewis himself had loosened up, and was prepared to let his own instrument soar for 'Waft her, angels' from Jephtha, and his command from that point never weakens, though the too-lush LSO (or Sargent? Or both?)

Copyright © 9 September 2011 Alice McVeigh,
Kent UK

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CD INFORMATION: RICHARD LEWIS - THE GREAT WELSH TENOR

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL

WALES

LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

CHARLES MACKERRAS

REGIS RECORDS

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