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Most Grand To Die

Catalogue numberBIS-1610 SACD
Release date2012-06-01
Orig. sample rate44100Hz
Total time79:07

Music Web International, outstanding October 2012: "This release is blemish-free and the title of the disc is highly appropriate: it is indeed “most grand”!

The First World War marked an entire generation of composers, both in England and on the continent. Of the three composers represented here, George Butterworth was killed on the Somme in 1916, while Ralph Vaughan Williams, who damaged his hearing while commanding an artillery battery, survived, but with memories that would colour many of his post-war masterpieces. Ivor Gurney, finally, also survived, but with a seriously aggravated bipolar disorder that would lead to his spending the last 15 years of his life in a mental hospital.
While Butterworth composed his two song cycles some five years before the outbreak of the war, the collection of poems that he chose his texts from – A. E. Housman's A Shropshire Lad – was striking a resonant contemporary note with its numerous poems dealing with ill-starred young men facing death. Even earlier, in 1904, Vaughan Williams had turned to poems by Robert Louis Stevenson, for his Songs of Travel, a set of nine songs in which the wanderer-narrator philosophically accepts the mixture of joys and sorrows that are offered to him along the road. Gurney – the youngest of the three composers – was also a poet, and in Severn Meadows expressed his longing for home in both text and music. Along with In Flanders, Even such is time and By a bierside – ending with the words of the album’s title – Severn Meadows was composed during Gurney’s time in the trenches, before exposure to poison gas in September 1917 caused him to be returned to England. Interpreting these highly expressive songs is James Rutherford, who has risen to fame as a Wagnerian singer, with Hans Sachs (Die Meistersinger) at Bayreuth among his credentials, but who reserves a special place in his repertoire for English 20th-century song. On his first recording for BIS he appears with his regular collaborator Eugene Asti at the piano.
    File formats included in STUDIO QUALITY
    • FLAC 24-bit Stereo
    • FLAC 24-bit Surround 5.0
    • FLAC 16-bit Stereo
    • MP3 Stereo
    File formats included in CD QUALITY | MP3
    • FLAC 16-bit Stereo
    • MP3 Stereo
$ 15.96
Extra material for download
  Composer: George Butterworth
  Bredon Hill and other songs 15:50
01 1. Bredon Hill 04:57 $ 1.04 USD
02 2. O fair enough are sky and plain 03:14 $ 0.68 USD
03 3. When the lad for longing sighs 02:19 $ 0.49 USD
04 4. On the idle hill of summer 03:11 $ 0.67 USD
05 5. With rue my heart is laden 02:09 $ 0.45 USD
  Composer: Gurney, Ivor
  Four Songs (‘Songs from the trenches’) 12:40
06 In Flanders 03:22 $ 0.71 USD
07 Severn Meadows 02:01 $ 0.42 USD
08 Even such is Time 02:58 $ 0.62 USD
09 By a bierside 04:19 $ 0.91 USD
  Composer: George Butterworth
  Six Songs from ‘A Shropshire Lad’ 14:21
10 1. Loveliest of trees 03:00 $ 0.63 USD
11 2. When I was one-and-twenty 01:22 $ 0.29 USD
12 3. Look not in my eyes 02:05 $ 0.44 USD
13 4. Think no more, lad 01:19 $ 0.28 USD
14 5. The lads in their hundreds 02:24 $ 0.50 USD
15 6. Is my team ploughing? 04:11 $ 0.88 USD
  Composer: Gurney, Ivor
16 The Twa Corbies (Border Ballad) 04:53 $ 1.03 USD
  Composer: Vaughan Williams, Ralph
  Songs of Travel 24:55
17 1. The vagabond 03:10 $ 0.67 USD
18 2. Let Beauty awake 01:59 $ 0.42 USD
19 3. The roadside fire 02:29 $ 0.52 USD
20 4. Youth and love 03:44 $ 0.78 USD
21 5. In dreams 02:27 $ 0.51 USD
22 6. The infinite shining heavens 02:26 $ 0.51 USD
23 7. Whither must I wander 03:46 $ 0.79 USD
24 8. Bright is the ring of words 02:25 $ 0.51 USD
25 9. I have trod the upward and the downward slope 02:29 $ 0.52 USD
  Composer: Gurney, Ivor
26 Sleep 03:21 $ 0.70 USD
  Album total 79:07
BaritoneRutherford, James
PianoAsti, Eugene
ComposerGeorge Butterworth
Gurney, Ivor
Vaughan Williams, Ralph

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