<< -- 3 -- Robert Anderson WONDROUSLY ALIVE
Sea Pictures may be lesser Elgar, but it has always lured the most
distinguished contraltos of the day from the time that Clara Butt gave the first performance
at Norwich in 1899, clad as a mermaid in seaweed green. Janet Baker often worked with
Barbirolli, as a superb Angel in Gerontius, but equally memorable in the Mahler cycles.
Barbirolli had the highest opinion of her artistry, and she movingly demonstrated her reciprocal
affection during a Gerontius sung in his memory, when her final words could only be
whispered through tears. Sea Pictures is most effective when least ambitious, as with
the delicate miniature 'In Haven'
[listen -- track 7, 0:00-1:15].