The late Patric Standford may have written these short pieces deliberately to provoke our feedback. If so, his success is reflected in the rich range of readers' comments appearing at the foot of most of the pages.
The Scottish record label Delphian Records is becoming well known for its fascinating and quickly growing collection of albums. One advantage of working with this company may be the chance to record in little-known locations such as the fourteenth century St Mary's Church in Haddington, a town about seventeen miles from Edinburgh. St Mary's lay ruined for four hundred years after the Siege of Haddington, but was restored to its former cathedral-like glory beside the River Tyne in the twentieth century, completed in 1973.
Two young British artists - soprano Harriet Burns and pianist Ian Tindale - spent three days in St Mary's during February 2023, recording a series of Franz Schubert lieder which demonstrate 'love's lasting power' - the title of their album which will be released on 26 January 2024. The recording is clear and direct but with enough ambience to indicate something of the location.
Listen — Schubert: An mein Herz
(DCD34251 track 13, 0:00-0:58) ℗ 2024 Delphian Records Ltd :
Harriet Burns has a strong yet subtle, clear, expressive, operatic-sounding voice, and Ian Tindale's accompaniment is very sympathetic to the twists and turns of Schubert's narrative in, for example, Viola, setting Franz von Schober. This is the album's longest song, at nearly thirteen minutes, in which, to quote Katy Hamilton's astute and fascinating liner notes, 'a tender flower who is over-eager and subsequently blighted' is 'dying alone and ashamed'.
Listen — Schubert: Viola
(DCD34251 track 18, 4:41-5:31) ℗ 2024 Delphian Records Ltd :
In contrast, many of the songs are very short - particularly Die Liebe (Freudvoll und Leidvoll) at just over a-minute-and-a-half.
This is a fabulous and unique recital featuring some of Schubert's most popular songs, such as An mein Herz, Lachen und Weinen, Suleika I and Versunken, and exploring many different facets of human love. If, like me, your German is ein bisschen schlecht, then you'll find it useful that the booklet includes all the song texts and English translations.
Harriet Burns and Ian Tindale - definitely two names to watch out for - will give a recital with the same name as this album on 30 January 2024 at the Oxford International Festival of Song - almost certainly designed as a launch recital for this new album.
Copyright © 11 January 2024