Related Reviews
Herald Scotland
'....the immaculate duo of Gilchrist and Tilbrook lavished their profound emotional and psychological acuity in a shattering account of Schumann's tender, heart-rending vision of a poet's life and love
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MusicWeb International
'he doesn't just sing; he thinks himself vocally into the meaning of the words'
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Opera News
'Gilchrist's humble, deferential singing makes for a lovely, touching rendition'
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BBC Magazine
'an honesty put to the test by the exposed acoustic and a fine artistic imagination are held in a near-perfect equilibrium.'
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MusicWeb International
Recording of the Month: 'A highly desirable disc.'
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Fanfare
'[Gilchrist] has a real sense of what the songs are about'
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Fanfare
'very fine'
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Pizzicato
A review in German
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International Records Review
'a highly intelligent musical performance'
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Audiophile Audition
4 Stars
'Gilchrist sings wonderfully while pianist Tilbrook is with him every step of the way...This is a terrific production from Linn.'
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The Sunday Times
'Gilchrist is a greatly sensitive interpreter, his tone liquid yet urgent, his diction immaculate and august, his choices admirable.'
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James Gilchrist - My Beloved is Mine - The Guardian


03 August 2012
The Guardian
Andrew Clements

James Gilchrist and Anna Tilbrook have already recorded one of Britten's tenor song cycles, the Hardy settings of Winter Words, on a previous disc for Linn, and they continue their series with four more. Strictly speaking, though, the earliest of them, the five settings of WH Auden that make up On This Island, and which were Britten's first published songs, weren't originally composed for tenor at all, but for soprano. Sophie Wyss, for whom Britten also composed the orchestral cycle Les Illuminations, gave the first performance in 1937. But all the others here were written for Peter Pears, beginning with the Michelangelo Sonnets in 1940, and ending with the first of the canticles, My Beloved Is Mine, seven years later.

Gilchrist's rather English sound fits music that was conceived for Pears's equally English style very well, whether in the unbuttoned declarations of love of the Michelangelo songs, or the much darker introspection of the Donne Sonnets. His immaculate diction - in Italian as well as English - is more than ample compensation for a slight feeling that sometimes the vocal lines are treated with just a little too much respect, that everything is just too correct, when a bit more dash and daring might have brought an extra dimension to some of the songs. But Gilchrist's restraint also proves to be the perfect counterpart to Tilbrook's piano playing, which relishes every bit of the athleticism that Britten built into accompaniments that he wrote to play himself.


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