Related Reviews
THEABSOLUTESOUND.COM
'young and fresh-sounding.'
more >>
Gloucestershire Echo
'Astounding with a powerful performance...'
more >>
The Observer
'...the whole coming to a glorious conclusion in the final Neue Liebeslieder quartet, as fragrant and luxuriant as a rose in full bloom.'
more >>
The Times
Contemporary composers credit a new generation of fearless singers with firing a boom in song cycles.
more >>
Pizzicato
5 Stars
5 stars from Pizzicato!
more >>
American Record Guide
'Everything, though, is competently done; and it is a pleasure to hear that Hough, already one of our best pianists, is a composer to be reckoned with'.
more >>
Classic FM Magazine
5 Stars
'...top-drawer performances... outstanding release...'
more >>
Gramophone
'...these fresh and direct performances have much to commend them.'
more >>
BBC Music Magazine
4 Stars
'...finely judged, delightfully youthful performances...'
more >>
Klassik.com
'The sound is focused, clear, vivid and the balanced vocal and instrumental parts are very successful.' (translated from German)
more >>
International Record Review
'They are throughout crisp, fresh, speedy, intelligent, well recorded, with good German...'
more >>
MusicWeb International
'...an attractive, fun and well executed album...'
more >>
Audiophile Audition
4 Stars
'The Prince performs perfectly in these works...'
more >>
Radio New Zealand
'This is a highly accomplished group...'
more >>
Nottingham Post
4 Stars
"...vividly presented by Alisdair Hogarth and the five voices of his Consort."
more >>
allmusic.com
'...a choice worth considering...'
more >>
Audio Video Club of Atlanta
'...sharply defined point making and the scintillating edge the members of the Prince Consort impart to their vision of Brahms.'
more >>
The Guardian
'...such fresh-toned performances by the five singers of the Prince Consort...'
more >>
The Observer
"...original and beguiling, the performances first rate."
more >>
Somewhere Boy
'For all of these multifarious influences, Other Love Songs feels remarkably unified...'
more >>
musicOMH
5 Stars
"Other Love Songs is a thrilling addition to its genre...I heartily recommend it."
more >>
Words and Music
'...light, frothy performances; they make the sung waltz sound the latest craze.'
more >>
SA-CD.net
5 Stars
"A marvellous disc...This release can't be too highly recommended on any account."
more >>
The Scotsman
4 Stars
'...the personable voices of The Prince Consort...'
more >>
The Lebrecht Report
4 Stars
'...rather wonderful...'
more >>
musicOMH
'As close to an ideal performance of the two Brahms sets as I can imagine.'
more >>
Classical Music Magazine
"The Prince Consort is anything but average - innovative programming and first-class performances mark it out as one of the most distinctive presences on today's concert scene."
more >>

The Prince Consort - Other Love Songs - theartsdesk.com


13 August 2011
theartsdesk.com
Graham Rickson

Brahms at his most genial is paired with a new song cycle written by polymath British pianist Stephen Hough. He's a treasure - one of the best virtuoso pianists around, as anyone who's heard his Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninov recordings will attest. And placing his songs in between the two sets of Brahms Liebeslieder makes much sense, as there's only so much uninterrupted triple-time jollity you can take, even if the later Neue Liebeslieder sometimes venture into darker territory. Hough even manages to link his Other Love Songs to Brahms, with the opening When I Have Passed starting with a hummed recollection of Brahms's Es bebet das Gesträuche, the song that precedes it on this disc. But he "decided, for the sake of contrast, to avoid waltzes, and to avoid setting poems about romantic love between a man and a woman" and to have them accompanied by three-handed piano.

These songs celebrate gay, fraternal and religious love and they're angry, consoling and witty by turns; Jennifer Johnston's Scouse accent is appropriately funny in Langston Hughes's Madam and her Madam and the hothouse eroticism of the Kashmiri Song is supported by Hough's Indian-inspired piano writing. Listen to how the melodic line soars during Housman's The Colour of His Hair, and experience goosebumps of delight as soprano and alto sing the Agnus Dei at the close of the final song, taking its text from the Gospel of St John. After which, returning to the frothiness of the first Brahms set of Liebeslieder can come as a bit of a shock. This is a marvellous recital, held together by Alisdair Hogarth's piano-playing, aided by Philip Fowke and Hough. The singing is faultless, especially Jacques Imbrailo's velvety baritone. It's on Linn too, so the sound quality and production are impeccable.


Bookmark and Share


Related Links

The Prince ConsortThe Prince Consort
Other Love SongsOther Love Songs