dda 25010     CLASSIC FM MAGAZINE's RECORD OF THE MONTH
                                (Modern Music Category)  March 2000
 
    

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THE ISLES OF GREECE
A song cycle by DONALD SWANN

Lucinda Broadbridge (sop), Juliet Alderdice (mezzo), Jeffrey Cresswell (tenor);
The Bloomfield Quartet, and Orchestra
conducted by John Jansson

As a composer Donald Swann was more prolific, more varied, than might be imagined from those who only know him as half of the Flanders and Swann comedy duo. Fascinated by the Greek islands and particularly Casos, on which he found both peace and disquiet, he used Greek folksong and popular melodies as the basis for these joyful yet thoughtful songs, orchestrated by John Jansson.

BONUS: The Casos Sonnets, which form a separate subset, were never performed in Donald's lifetime.  We are very fortunate to have secured a tape of these pieces, made by Donald for his own use on his beloved Bluthner piano at his Battersea home, and this CD includes this rare and valuable recording.

CD DURATION:  77:41

AUDIO SAMPLE: The Favours  





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BUY IN THE USA:

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This CD contains "The Isles of Greece"
a song cycle which includes the Casos Sonnets 1-8 (in English) and the following songs (in Greek and English):

Samiotissa
Miranda
Pes Mou ti
The Women of Sangongou
Casiot Journey
The Favours
Anatoli
Nanourisma
Militsa
Nikotsaras
The Shepherdess
Idle Tears
The Isles of Greece

PLUS The Casos Sonnets 1-8 performed by the composer

review extracts: for full reviews click here
"Donald Swann was on this evidence clearly a most accomplished and sensitive composer... the singers seem excellent throughout and there is nothing of the suffocating operatic ambience... it was an inspired decision to include Swann's home-spun tape recording which is never less than poetic... this is a very fine disc and well worth seeking out" - Rob Barnett (British Music Society)
"a wonderful excursion - beautifully conducted, sung, and played - into forthrightly tonal music and poetry that are disarmingly direct and simplistic ... Each day I go down to my word processor, hell-bent on achieving my self-imposed quota, and each day I instead cue up this CD to hear just a few tracks, and find myself once again helplessly sitting there, mesmerised, until it's over".  - William Zagorski  (Fanfare, USA)
"The three singers, admirable in their clarity of diction and delivery, are all well suited to this repertoire and they are accompanied by a chamber orchestra, a solo soprano saxophone contributing some evocative moments. Divine Art's relatively small catalogue has afforded several items of unusual interest, many of them British. This is certainly one of them and I am happy to give it a warm recommendation."   (awarded 5 stars ) - Phil Scowcroft (MusicWeb)
"Three excellent singers... The music itself combines an easygoing unpretentiousness with quiet and searching intelligence. There is real intensity as Lucinda Broadbridge strikingly conveys in the fourth of the Casos Sonnets. And the best of the Greek settings, such as Palamas's Anatolia, are bewitching." - Malcolm Hayes (Classic FM Magazine)