Melba Recordings

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Arcadia Lost

Paul Turok Website (US)
Paul Turok

A finely sounding disc is devoted to the music of Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten, whose work is the Sinfonia da Requiem. The Vaughan Williams works are The Lark Ascending, Flos Campi and On Wenlock Edge. The Lark is a lovely piece for violin and orchestra. Flos Campi, for viola and wordless chorus is one of his strangest works. The last is for tenor, piano and string quartet. All the performances are fine. The Sydney Symphony is led by Mark Wigglesworth, a Shostakovich expert who does excellently with English music. Michael Dauth is violinist in The Lark, Roger Benedict is violist in Flos Campi, with the aid of Cantillation, led by Michael Black. On Wenlock Edge is set to poems by A.E. Housman (who was very popular among composers in the period). The French influence is very noticeable in these songs, who tenor Steve Davislim, the Hamer Quartet and pianist Benjamin Martin do to a tee. The disc is so well recorded that the SACD process means that the instruments seem to come out of thin air rather than the orchestra.