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Finzi - James Gilchrist - The Independent


31 May 2005
The Independent
Rob Cowan
4 Stars

Beyond that, you could perhaps move on to Finzi's Oh Fair to See (Linn CKD 253), a cycle setting various poets, and part of an all-Finzi programme that also includes the Hardy cycles "Till Earth Outwears" and "A Young Man's Exhortation". James Gilchrist's plangent high-ringing tenor particularly suits the first cycle's fourth and fifth songs, "Only the Wanderer" and "To Joy"; both are imbued with a reflective quality that recalls the world of Brahms's songs. Among the most affecting, and effective, pieces on the programme is "Former Beauties" - "those market-dames, mid-aged, with lips thin-drawn, who we loved in years gone by". Like Williams, Gilchrist savours his words without compromising their place on the larger canvas, his pianist Anna Tilbrook very nearly (though not quite) on a level with Burnside. This is another lovely CD, with full texts included (Naxos makes do with comprehensive annotations).
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