Records: Classical

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The Independent Culture
English Orchestral Songs: Christopher Maltman/ BBC Scottish CO/Brabyns (Hyperion 1CD)

As you chew over the results of the recent Cardiff Singer of the World final, you might remember that past winners of the Lieder prize have sometimes done rather better than winners of the competition overall. Especially the baritones. First there was Bryn Terfel. Now there's Christopher Maltman, who seems to be on the recital schedules of every second festival in Britain and is beginning to make a name for himself as a recording artist. With this superb disc he moves in on the turn-of-the-century Stanford, Parry, Gurney repertory that once belonged to John Shirley-Quirk. And like his predecessor, Maltman has a fine feel for the balance between manly sentiments and pastoral yearning that informs these songs - particularly in the ones that look back from the world after the trenches to the world of rural, mythic innocence before.