The Prince Consort – Ned Rorem: On an echoing road (2009) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

The Prince Consort – Ned Rorem: On an echoing road (2009)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 56:37 minutes | 1,88 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Linn Records

Ned Rorem is one of the most widely-recorded living American composers, who Time Magazine called ‘the world’s best composer of art songs’, with over 500 songs to his name. The Prince Consort is fast emerging as a fresh, exciting and versatile ensemble. Their performances are characterised by wide-ranging programmes and polished presentation, which showcase different combinations of voice and piano, from solos to small groups in piano-accompanied song. If you want a single-disc introduction to this very fine and important composer of songs you can’t do better than this disc by this fine ensemble.

A first through here is that the poems would make an excellent anthology in themselves – and that is not to disparage the music. Armin Zanner’s introductory essay on the composer and his songs makes much of the echo motif (the phrase adopted for the subtitle is from a poem, well translated by Rorem, by Colette). Rorem is quoted as saying: “I set words to music as I talk them”. He also says that the germ, “the spark that’s lit in the night”, usually goes into the accompaniment. Does that, I wonder, explain a second thought – that these songs are characteristically just a little too delicate, that this prized quality of colloquial ease is a reason why I also think that they will glide out of my mind as easily as they slid into it?

Certainly – certainty at last – this is a most attractive disc. The Prince Consort comprises five singers still young, clear and intelligent in their way with words, and their pianist-director, Alisdair Hogarth. Unusually they have a countertenor in their midst, the excellent Tim Mead, who shares the title-song, a duet with Anna Leese, and has two of the best solos. South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo is also noteworthy: the recording brings out the individual timbre of his voice, and to him goes what I still find the best of the songs, “Early in the morning”.

1. The Prince Consort – Early in the morning (01:55)
2. The Prince Consort – Are you the new person drawn toward me? (02:15)
3. The Prince Consort – Rain in Spring (01:17)
4. The Prince Consort – For Susan (01:15)
5. The Prince Consort – Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (01:55)
6. The Prince Consort – Jeanie with the light brown hair (02:44)
7. The Prince Consort – To a young girl (01:18)
8. The Prince Consort – Catullus: On the burial of his brother (02:07)
9. The Prince Consort – Requiescat (02:28)
10. The Prince Consort – I will always love you (02:19)
11. The Prince Consort – That shadow, my likeness (01:47)
12. The Prince Consort – On an echoing road (03:04)
13. The Prince Consort – I strolled across an open field (01:15)
14. The Prince Consort – Alleluia (02:43)
15. The Prince Consort – Little Elegy (01:17)
16. The Prince Consort – Sometimes with one I love (01:25)
17. The Prince Consort – Hymn for Evening (02:45)
18. The Prince Consort – Orchids (02:16)
19. The Prince Consort – On a singing girl (01:25)
20. The Prince Consort – Now sleeps the crimson petal (03:53)
21. The Prince Consort – What if some little pain (01:37)
22. The Prince Consort – Look down, fair moon (01:20)
23. The Prince Consort – The Rainbow (01:22)
24. The Prince Consort – Do I love you more than a day? (01:32)
25. The Prince Consort – Their lonely betters (02:45)
26. The Prince Consort – Do not love too long (01:16)
27. The Prince Consort – Comment on War (01:23)
28. The Prince Consort – The Serpent (01:52)
29. The Prince Consort – Full of life now (01:51)

The Prince Consort:
– Alisdair Hogarth: artistic director, piano
– Anna Leese: soprano
– Jennifer Johnston: mezzo-soprano
– Andrew Staples: tenor
– Tim Mead: countertenor
– Jacques Imbrailo: baritone


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