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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67459
Recording details: February 2004
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: February 2005
Total duration: 4 minutes 5 seconds

'This is still a voice of youthful freshness, commanded with skill and assurance. The programme tests his musicianship very thoroughly, and it reveals also considerable powers of expressiveness, both forthright and subtle … Vignoles is marvellously clear in notes (often fiendishly difficult) and rhythm, and he contributes an excellent essay' (Gramophone)

'Sung by Mark Padmore who, on this form and in this repertory, seems to me to be unrivalled among younger English tenors … With Roger Vignoles as the Britten-like pianist, this ranks as one of the finest discs of English songs to have been issued for some years' (The Sunday Telegraph)

'Mark Padmore and Roger Vignoles perform all these songs with great understanding and sensitivity; in fact I was surprised at how much intensity of feeling they found in the stark Hölderlein songs. Padmore is equally at ease with the minutely expressive wordsetting of the Britten songs and the long, soaring lines of the Tippett' (BBC Music Magazine)

'This is a remarkable debut recital by one of the most intelligent, musical and thoughtful British singers before the public today. It's not easy listening, but Padmore and Vignoles demonstrate song's unique power to shake, stir and move. The recorded balance is ideal, but no company is more experienced in the art-song repertoire than Hyperion. Another jewel in an already superlative crown' (International Record Review)

'Boyhood's End is more of a continuous cantata than a song cycle, and Padmore's concentration on the beauty of the continuous, excitable melisma is surely the right way to go, when Tippett's vocal writing is at it's early, florid best. Padmore's accurate tenor is really used as another, powerful instrument. The voice seems more played than sung' (Fanfare, USA)

Um Mitternacht
composer
1959/60; published in 1994
author of text

Other recordings available for download
Gerald Finley (baritone), Julius Drake (piano)
Ian Bostridge (tenor), Graham Johnson (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Britten’s setting of Goethe’s ‘Um Mitternacht’ (published in 1994) was probably composed in 1959, shortly after the composer’s strong interest in German poetry had borne fruit in his tenor song-cycle Sechs Hölderlin-Fragmente. At this time, Pears was enjoying an enviable reputation as one of the leading exponents of Lieder in the world, repeatedly earning ecstatic reviews in the German press that inspired the BBC to capitalize on this success by carefully promoting his and Britten’s work in Germany.

from notes by Mervyn Cooke © 2010


Other albums featuring this work
'Britten: Songs & Proverbs of William Blake' (CDA67778)
Britten: Songs & Proverbs of William Blake
'Britten: The Red Cockatoo & other songs' (CDA66823)
Britten: The Red Cockatoo & other songs

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