Vaughan Williams - James Gilchrist - Nottingham Evening Post

Tenor James Gilchrist worked as a doctor before turning to singing full-time. Medicine's loss is music's gain, especially where British songs are concerned. This CD includes three major cycles, two of them based on poems by A.E. Housman. In both Vaughan Williams's On Wenlock Edge and his ill-fated pupil Ivor Gurney's Ludlow and Teme, the voice is supported by a piano and string quartet. More than 30 years later the same forces were used by Arthur Bliss in his Elegiac Sonnet, for which Cecil Day-Lewis penned a text at Bliss's request. Meanwhile Peter Warlock, no lover of the piano, added a flute and cor anglais to the string quartet for The Curlew, his desolate but achingly beautiful setting of words by W.B. Yeats. Gilchrist's voice is well attuned to this spiritual landscape, whose detail is coloured by the Fitzwilliam Quartet with Michael Cox and Gareth Hulse. The other works, to, are deftly handled, not least by pianist Anna Tilbrook.

14 August 2007