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16 Mar 2014

John Shirley-Quirk sings... Vaughan Williams. Songs of Travel, etc + Ireland - Stanford - Keel - Warlock - Saga 1962

Ralph Vaughan Williams:  Songs of Travel
(The Vagabond - Let Beauty Awake - The Roadside Fire - Youth and Love - In Dreams - The Infinite Shining Heaven - Wither must I wander -
Bright is the King of Words - I have trod the upward and downward slope)
Ralph Vaughan Williams:  Linden Lea  ~  Silent Noon  ~  John Ireland:  Sea Fever  
Charles Villiers Stanford:  Drake's Drum  ~  The Old Superb  ~  Frederick Keel:  Trade Winds  ~   Peter Warlock:  Captain Stratton's Fancy 
3 files zip FLAC  Mega Download     
John Shirley-Quirk, Baritone  &  Viola Tunnard, piano   
SAGA  XID 5211  c.1964 pressing - original XIP 7011 matrices.  Recorded: c.1962 - SAGA Studio, Maresfield Gardens, London.
October 2015: Files now lightly declicked ('1.3') with additional treble.     Sleeve-note >>>









10 comments:

  1. It is quite wonderful to see this recording appear so quickly after your comments concerning your edition of the Aeolian Qt playing Elgar /RVW Quartets . Thank you for making these splendid performances available! The artistry from both performers in the Vaughan Williams songs makes more recent attempts seem feeble.

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    1. The 'usual' wait invariably being some 2-3 years!

      I think Shirley-Quirk loses points if you compare a couple of the songs on side 2 to Peter Dawson's (on HISTORICAL) - by comparison the vibrancy/articulation is muted.

      I do retain on MD, a BBC Radio 3 studio-live 'Songs of Travel' by Jonathan Lemalu,from quite some years back - which is rather good...

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  2. An excellent record, both this one and the Ireland, both of which came out briefly on CD (with the original cover and short playing-time) in the 90s. The piano-playing could hardly be bettered. I take it 'felicitous' was meant as a compliment? In this music what else would have suited?

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    1. Felicitous has but one meaning/interpretation, and is entirely apt; 'rather' only indicating my detachment; but indicating it can be listened-to with interest/pleasure.

      Ted Perry, in 1996, gave a pen-portrait of these sessions:
      https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.music.classical.recordings/PTXx-fZn4-I

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  3. Thanks TinEar for another very enjoyable stroll down Memory Lane. I bought the Saga LP when it appeared, also the other Saga LP mentioned by Ted Perry, and they are still sitting somewhere in my collection (which I never catalogued - serendipity is undervalued). I have always considered JSQ's diction to be among the best, and he had an instantly recognizable voice, which did good service in opera. I wonder if anybody else remembers a BBC TV production of "Carmen" in which JSQ was the most english gentlemanly Escamillo imaginable.
    Andrew Smith

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    1. Editing this was hardly a piece of cake!

      He certainly was an English Gentleman singer..and now see 'The Times', in 1958, mentioning his Tremolo was 'confused' and in 1959 his tone as 'woolly', and, in 1962, as 'soft-grained and lyrical'....needing more 'variety of timbre'.

      ...so he was a bit unsuited to more boisterous roles (the 'Carmen' appears to be December 1962...quite a bit before my time in terms of TV Opera!)...but was easily one of the best (and busiest) of that period.....but I'd only first heard him in late 1971, upon buying the Britten Church Parables boxed set..

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  4. Wikpedia reminds me that among JSQ's recordings is his contribution to Willcocks's (is that correctly apostrophised?) recording of RVW's "Hodie". I challenge anybody to mention a finer performance of "The Oxen" (or a finer reading of that poem). I also had completely forgotten, even though I saw him perform them, his multiple roles in "Death in Venice". I am pleased to read that he is still teaching. So, TinEar, you see that your hard work does so much more than bring past recordings to us, it opens doors which lead to other things.
    Andrew Smith

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    1. Must admit I've never listened to 'Hodie' (on Columbia SCX) - nor quite a few of the other EMI/RVW Choral's (must have the lot!).

      The problem with British singers of that generation resides, IMO, with The Women; as I seemingly care for few (Helen Watts being an exception) - being particularly problematic in early classical repertoire (say on L'Oiseau-Lyre) - though might have a bash @:

      Jacqueline Delman, who, with E.Scheepers/K.Joyce, are in the rather scarce (£5 private CD from a worn/distorted LP..) Karl Haas/London Baroque's 1954 Parlophone of M.Haydn.Mass / Bach.Cantata 202 (also Scheepers + M.Sinclair/G. Evans are in Mozart.6 Notturni: pretty dire..but all never on CD..(as with other Karl Haas; not always successful performances, anyway)..

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  5. Very sad to read of JSQ's death on 7th April 2014. An instantly recognizable voice, and I believe him to have some of the finest diction of any British singer. The compensations are that at 82 he had "a good innings", and he seemed to be still teaching recently. RIP.
    Andrew Smith

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    1. Yes, noticed this - read the Telegraph obit (at least those have avoided the dumbing-down..) - and maybe someone-else has the Saga/Ireland disc to upload..

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