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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CKD342
Recording details: February 2009
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by John Fraser
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: November 2009
Total duration: 2 minutes 15 seconds

'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' (Gramophone)

'Ned Rorem, now in his mid-eighties, is the great art song composer of our time: a title handsomely confirmed by this anthology of two dozen solo songs, interspersed with two duets, two trios and a quartet … this is a highly enjoyable disc which complements the celebrated solo collections by Susan Graham with Malcolm Martineau (Erato) and Carole Farley with the composer (Naxos), and is by no means eclipsed by them' (BBC Music Magazine) » More

'This is an exceptionally fine recital. All six performers are evidently fully engaged with Rorem's style and idiom. The standard of the singing is consistently high and the diction is excellent throughout. Rorem's crucially important and often-difficult piano parts are expertly played by Alisdair Hogarth. As we have come to expect from Linn, the sound is clear, truthful and well balanced, providing a very pleasant listening experience … some previous Rorem recitals on disc retain their importance, but 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. And seasoned Rorem collectors should take note of one further important point. Most of the recordings of Rorem's songs to date have been by American artists. This new disc offers a chance, which should be seized upon, to hear an expert and evidently committed young British team in his music I hope the Linn and The Prince Consort will give us a follow-up to this splendid disc very soon' (MusicWeb International)

'Every word of every poem is set with such understanding that, even with the best-known texts, it seems as if the music has always been there—surely the greatest compliment to any composer. One can point to influences—Poulenc certainly, Copland, and some English song-writers of the early-twentieth-century, but the music is never derivative and ultimately Rorem is nobody but himself. Ned Rorem has said that he composes the music that he wants to listen to—with performances like these, everyone should be tuning in to Rorem's scores. (Indeed! A confession from the editor: I have never really 'got' Rorem's songs prior to this release, but this Linn recording is revelatory, devotedly sung and played, and altogether special - Ed.)' (ClassicalSource.com)

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