The Prince Consort - Other Love Songs - The Observer
Brahms's two groups of Liebeslieder waltzes for piano duet and voices can sound cloying. The Prince Consort, a flexible group of five singers and pianist Alisdair Hogarth (here joined by pianist Philip Fowke), deliver a performance of sparkle and precision, restoring muscularity to Brahms's charming part-songs. In addition they perform Stephen Hough's cycle Other Love Songs, commissioned by the Consort as a touching companion to the Brahms. Using texts by Claude McKay, Julian of Norwich, AE Housman and others, Hough celebrates other kinds of love, religious, gay and in the broadest sense fraternal. The piano writing, not surprisingly given Hough's day job, is original and beguiling, the performances first rate.