Related Reviews
THEABSOLUTESOUND.COM
'young and fresh-sounding.'
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Gloucestershire Echo
'Astounding with a powerful performance...'
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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.'
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The Times
Contemporary composers credit a new generation of fearless singers with firing a boom in song cycles.
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Pizzicato
5 Stars
5 stars from Pizzicato!
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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'.
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Classic FM Magazine
5 Stars
'...top-drawer performances... outstanding release...'
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Gramophone
'...these fresh and direct performances have much to commend them.'
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BBC Music Magazine
4 Stars
'...finely judged, delightfully youthful performances...'
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Klassik.com
'The sound is focused, clear, vivid and the balanced vocal and instrumental parts are very successful.' (translated from German)
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International Record Review
'They are throughout crisp, fresh, speedy, intelligent, well recorded, with good German...'
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MusicWeb International
'...an attractive, fun and well executed album...'
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Audiophile Audition
4 Stars
'The Prince performs perfectly in these works...'
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Radio New Zealand
'This is a highly accomplished group...'
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Nottingham Post
4 Stars
"...vividly presented by Alisdair Hogarth and the five voices of his Consort."
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theartsdesk.com
'...experience goosebumps of delight...'
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allmusic.com
'...a choice worth considering...'
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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.'
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The Guardian
'...such fresh-toned performances by the five singers of the Prince Consort...'
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The Observer
"...original and beguiling, the performances first rate."
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Somewhere Boy
'For all of these multifarious influences, Other Love Songs feels remarkably unified...'
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SA-CD.net
5 Stars
"A marvellous disc...This release can't be too highly recommended on any account."
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Words and Music
'...light, frothy performances; they make the sung waltz sound the latest craze.'
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The Lebrecht Report
4 Stars
'...rather wonderful...'
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The Scotsman
4 Stars
'...the personable voices of The Prince Consort...'
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musicOMH
'As close to an ideal performance of the two Brahms sets as I can imagine.'
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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."
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The Prince Consort - Live - musicOMH


15 June 2011
musicOMH
Adrian Horsewood
5 Stars

The evening was rounded off by the world première (yes, another one!) of Hough's song cycle Other Love Songs, a collection of texts by authors including Julian of Norwich, Langston Hughes and A.E. Housman, which had been commissioned by the final performers of the evening, the Prince Consort. Written for various combinations of soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor and baritone, the piano part is for three hands at one piano - a reflection, said Hough, of the fact that none of the texts he chose is about conventional love between a man and a woman.

Other Love Songs was commissioned so that it could be put between Brahms's two sets of Liebesliederwälzer, and, put simply, it is a work fully deserving of the recognition and praise accorded to those sets of songs. It's a beautiful work, but not one that casts love only in rose-tinted, warm, caring tones - there are outbursts of extreme passion, not least in ‘The Colour of His Hair', a Housman poem commonly thought to refer to Oscar Wilde's imprisonment for homosexuality, which Hough sets as a violent sea shanty, reflecting the anger of a village mob up in arms against an outsider in its midst.

This and other stronger moments are tempered by intimate settings of Langston Hughes and, particularly, of the episode in St John's Gospel where Jesus asks Peter three times ‘Do you love me?', the message being that the love that God shows is open to all and unconditional.

Other Love Songs is a thrilling addition to its genre, and I do hope it will be taken up and performed more widely - the Prince Consort are already giving it dedicated advocacy, and their recording of the work (sandwiched by the two aforementioned Brahms sets) is available now. On the basis of tonight's performance, I heartily recommend it.


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Other Love SongsOther Love Songs