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<<  -- 2 --  Trevor Hold    FRESH AND STYLISH

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The other extended work on the disc is Sarah Rodgers's The King of the Golden River. Other than the fact that the composition and recording celebrate the centenary of the death of John Ruskin, it is difficult to understand the point of the music. The composer's adaptation of Ruskin's sentimental allegory lacks the requisite fire and drama to match the medium she has chosen. The singer cannot do much with the prosy text and the string quartet acts as little more than a musical background to the proceedings. It would perhaps have been more successful set for reciter and string quartet -- even better as a children's operetta.

The King of the Golden River. Music for tenor and string quartet (c) 1999 SOMM Recordings

The remaining items on the disc -- a generous 75 minutes-worth -- are two songs that Arnold Bax arranged for quartet accompaniment from piano originals, 'O mistress mine' and 'My eyes for beauty pine', and Rubbra's Ave Maria Gratia Plena, which pairs two songs written 30 years apart, 'O my deir hert' and 'O excellent virgin princess'. Richard Edgar-Wilson gives musicianly interpretations of all works, admirably partnered by the Coull Quartet, and Lewis Foreman contributes helpful background notes. Somm Recordings are to be congratulated on their enterprise but could take a little more care over the layout of texts and proofreading in the accompanying booklet.

 

Copyright © 7 January 2001 Trevor Hold, Peterborough, UK

 

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CD INFORMATION - SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD 222

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