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Classical Music Review

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Composer: Robert Hugill
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 08 September 2017

British composer Robert Hugill’s new release Quickening is an intimate showcase of contemporary art song. Across the album, Hugill demonstrates an exceptional sensitivity to text and melody, both of which shine through his clear and lyrical musical language...

Quickening consists of 18 tracks (1 hr, 04 min, 08 sec). It's split into five segments each of which uses texts by English and Welsh poets as a starting point with which to draw inspiration for the music.

If you're not a fan of poetry or vocal recitals then you may find yourself switching this off pretty quickly. However, even then, if you focus on Hug ill's music you'll find much to enjoy.

I have to admit that it wasn't really an album that appealed to me, but I can appreciate its merits and if you're into this style then there's lots to enjoy.

Track listing:

Winter Journey to Text by Rowan Williams
Johnny Herford (baritone); William Vann (piano)
01 - Morning
02 - Afternoon
03 - Evening

Four Songs to Texts by A.E. Housman
Johnny Herford (baritone); William Vann (piano)
04 - He looked at me
05 - He would not stay for me
06 - Because I liked you better
07 - A.J.J. – When he’s returned

08 - When Summer’s end is nighing Text by A.E. Housman
Johnny Herford (baritone); William Vann (piano)

Quickening Text by Christina Rossetti
Anna Huntley (mezzo-soprano); Rosalind Ventris (viola); William Vann (piano)
09 - Song
10 - Bitter for Sweet
11 - Two Pursuits
12 - Remember
13 - Withering
14 - The First Spring Day

Four Songs to Texts by Ivor Gurney
Johnny Herford (baritone); William Vann (piano)
15 - Song
16 - Requiem
17 - To His Love
18 - Song and Pain


Darren Rea

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