Magazine article Gramophone

Bax * Delius: Bax Five Greek Folk Songs

Magazine article Gramophone

Bax * Delius: Bax Five Greek Folk Songs

Article excerpt

Bax * Delius

Bax Five Greek Folk Songs. I sing of a maiden that is makeless. Mater ora filium. Of a rose I sing a song. This Worldes Joie Delius An den Sonnenschein. Ave Maria. Durch den Wald. Fruhlingsanbruch. Yes, here we shall feast (Her ute skal gildet staa). Midsummer Song. On Craig Ddu. Sonnenscheinlied. The splendour falls on castle walls. To be Sung of a Summer Night on the Water

The Carice Singers / George Parris

Naxos (M) 8 573695 (72' * DDD * T/t)

Not much unites Delius and Bax beyond nationality and some mutual friends. Despite the former composer's famous cosmopolitanism, it's Bax's part-songs and motets that appear more interesting here, at once rooted and ambitious. Delius's miniatures can appear parochial next to his masterpieces for voice and orchestra while his penchant for European languages casts The Carice Singers in an unfavourable light.

There's some talent in this choir the men are better than the women but the overall sound can be woolly and standoffish, without a final degree of engagement with the text. Norwegian and German should induce a different approach to annunciation and shift the surface feel of the music as a result, but don't here. …

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