Magazine article Gramophone

'Far Away': Barber Melodies Passageres

Magazine article Gramophone

'Far Away': Barber Melodies Passageres

Article excerpt

'Far Away'

Barber Melodies passageres, Op 27 Beethoven An die feme Geliebte, Op 98 Britten Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo, Op 22 Eisler Hollywood Liederbuch Faure Cinq Melodies 'de Venise', Op 58 Weill Street Scene--Lonely House. Lady in the Dark--My Ship. Love Life--Here I'll Stay Zemlinsky Walzergesange nach toskanischen Liedern, Op 6 Thomas Michael Allen ten Charles Spencer pf

Capriccio [F] C5194 (78' * DDD)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Young Peter Pears comes to mind (not always happily) during this recital that finds tenor Thomas Michael Allen out of his Baroque opera element and in a wide range of vocal and dramatic thickets that he navigates with variable success. His upper range is distinctively coloured but his middle voice sounds fragile, even unsupported, and the lower range can be almost completely devoid of tension.

Such problems matter less when Allen is engaged by the texts of Britten's Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo (with music playing to young Pears's limited strengths at that stage in his vocal career) and, later in the recital, in selections from Eisler's Hollywood Songbook. …

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