If one is a true lover of English music this is the CD for you. David Dubery is one of this country’s best and yet relatively unknown English composers working today. His music is played regularly abroad, but our own radio 3 seems to have ignored this superb talent.
For his CD he draws on a cast of the finest performers in their genres. What a feast of music this CD has to offer. 17 superbly sung and articulated songs in which all the poems are “observed” both vocally and pianistically, each with the voice, flute and piano conveying the meaning of the poems perfectly.
The CD ends with with the quartet, a masterpiece of string writing and again , perfectly reflecting the title of the disc.The Cavaleri Quartet are in the ascendant and will go on to do great things. All chamber music lovers must note the name Cavaleri!
My only advice is to buy this CD before the stocks run out!!
This CD highlights the talents of the English composer David Dubery. The songs convey the poems brilliantly and are sung sympathetically by the soloists. The Caveleri Quartet are on fine form and this is a fantastic showcase of British composing at its best. A must for any classical lover.
A wonderful collection of beautifully composed pieces of music performed by brilliant musicians – I would highly recommend this CD.
Having derived such pleasure from Dubery’s Songs & Chamber Music album issued by Metier in 2011, I approached this new release with great anticipation and I am not disappointed.
The selection of tracks spans the composer’s development from the ethereal and evocative setting of Full Fathom Five, composed when he was sixteen, to works written over the past decade.
The seventeen songs are settings of the poets Douglas Gibson, Shakespeare, Thomas Hardy and Walter de la Mare. As we have come to expect from this composer, these texts are expertly framed and complimented by the music, with a subtle nudge of melancholy in The Old Sailor or Done For, a release of frustrated tension in The Window, or the cry of exasperation in Time will not Wait. The songs range from the lyricism of The Swans in Flight, to the rhythmic jaunty settings of A Memory, The Barber’s, Esmeralda, and The Promenade 1880. They are beautifully sung in clear diction by both the charismatic tenor James Gilchrist with his vocal warmth and poetic phrasing, and mezzo-soprano Adrienne Murray whose honeyed tone and characterization also gave such delight on the previous CD.
I enjoyed each of the songs. Gilchrist controls some exquisite pianissimi in The Lizard, Cloud Shadows and An August Midnight, and Murray is blissfully laid back in the dreamy June Evening. In six of the songs the flute has an important role, gorgeously played here by the inspired casting of the very distinguished Michael Cox. With Dubery himself at the piano in all the songs, we get not only full blooded support and delicate texturing throughout, but the benefit of a composer’s deeper insight to both words and music.
The Cuarteto Iberico- ‘Ghosts of times past’, dating from 2005 is brought vividly to life by the Cavaleri Quartet, an excellent performance that complements the lyricism and vibrant colours of music inspired by the composer’s visits to Spain. The four movements are filled with melody, constant changing moods and sonorities. If we follow the suggested scenario (though Dubery invites us to allow our own imagination to take control here), we are treated to a sensual, exotic Moorish dance, a carriage ride in Seville’s Maria Luisa Park drawn by a horse with an unstable temperament, a despairing, passionate and slightly sinister beggarman in the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona, and ultimately a night-time Carneval scene that shows the Cavaleri players at both their most tender and exciting form. These are fine musicians indeed. I loved this quartet from the first hearing and keep coming back to it.
I wholeheartedly recommend this well presented and recorded collection.
There are some good sampler videos to be seen on Youtube if you need any more persuasion.