A superb 68-minute collection of obscure and unreleased tracks from Thompson's career, covering late 1967 until April 1976…
Released in the Britten anniversary year, Richard Farnes, the Music Director of Opera North who led their critically acclaimed production of 'The Turn of the Screw' in 2010, conducts an all-English cast in Britten’s most ingeniously crafted opera, including Andrew Kennedy, Sally Matthews, and 11-year old Michael Clayton-Jolly in the role of Miles.
As he proved with his recording of A London Symphony – Record of the Year, Gramophone Awards 2001 – Richard Hickox was a Vaughan Williams specialist. This reissue of an original 1995 recording features such lesser known works from the composer as Household Music and Flos Campi. Alternating between the passionate and the tortured, between long-breathed lyricism and moments of obvious pain, Flos Campi has never really found itself in the mainstream concert repertoire, maybe because of its title, misleadingly suggesting jolly music. Household Music has equally suffered from its title, rather an off-hand one for pieces that at their best show the composer’s brilliance as an arranger. Riders to the Sea, however, is a masterpiece, seen as the finest as well as the most concentrated of Vaughan Williams’s works for the stage, conjuring up multiple layers of emotional response to the natural world, a losing battle with the sea, and the God which rules it, for the islanders in the North Atlantic.
Lock the doors, close the curtains and turn the lights down before putting this disc on. Here is music for an intimate space: solo music for solitary souls. This is a rare opportunity to hear solo lyra viol music from the early 1630s played on a beautiful period instrument by one of today’s foremost exponents of the Jacobean repertoire. Richard Boothby has been playing English consort music (some of it by Lawes) with Fretwork for over 30 years, so is as well placed as anyone today to interpret this body of solo music, most of it recorded here for the first time.