Though 2008 is set to be the year we reassess Vaughan Williams as a symphonist, Andrew Kennedy's beautiful recording of the song cycle 'On Wenlock Edge' should not be neglected. Kennedy has a big, bright, expressive tenor voice and uses it with fervour, delicacy and imagination. Accompanied by pianist Simon Crawford-Phillips and the Dante Quartet, he emphasises the tragedy and tenderness in the poems. Ivor Gurney's wistful 'Ludlow and Theme', written after the composer's first nervous collapse, is given a similarly powerful reading, as is Ian Venables's 'Songs of Eternity and Sorrow'. A thoughtfully realised recital.
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