Magazine article Gramophone

'Music, When Soft Voices Die'

Magazine article Gramophone

'Music, When Soft Voices Die'

Article excerpt

'Music, When Soft Voices Die' Bridge Autumn. The Bee. Music, when soft voices die. O weary hearts Elgar Three Part-Songs, Op 18--No 1,0 happy eyes; No 2, Love Moeran Songs of Springtime Parry Six Modern Lyrics Stanford At the mid-hour of night. It is not the tear. 0 breathe not his name. Shall we go dance Vaughan Williams Three Elizabethan Part-Songs. Fain would I change that note. Love is a sickness Quink Vocal Ensemble Brilliant (B) 95216 (68' * DDD * T)

Is there a less fashionable genre than the part-song? Despite attempts by the likes of Britten, Moeran and Finzi to mould it into something more contemporary in the 20th century, the partsong remains stubbornly synonymous with its Victorian and Edwardian heyday and the lavender-scented works of Elgar, Stanford and Parry.

Paul Spicer and his Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir have been valiantly championing this music in solid recordings of Stanford (Somm, 12/13) and Delius & Ireland (2/13), but they've largely been alone. Now they've got competition from Dutch vocal quartet Quink--a group whose relationship with English repertoire is both long and strong.

Not a hint of accent blots enunciation by turns percussive (Bridge's 'The Bee') and sensuously blurred (Moeran 'The River-God's Song')--that rivals the group's tuning for precision. …

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