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EuropaDisc Reviews The Hills of Dreamland

Kathryn Rudge

Europadisc has a rave new and sale for our The Hills of Dreamland: Elgar Orchestral Songs recording:

“Lovers of Elgar’s music have good reason to be thankful to the Somm label for a string of releases in recent years, ranging from rarities to some exceptional restorations of recordings by the composer himself. Now comes another fascinating addition to the series, this time featuring orchestral songs plus the incidental music to the George Moore/W.B. Yeats collaboration Grania and Diarmid (1901). … Firstly, the orchestral songs are shared between two excellent young singers, mezzo-soprano Kathryn Rudge and baritone Henk Neven, both in lustrous voice, thereby offering timbral and registral variety to this under-appreciated corner of Elgar’s output. Neven’s voice has a grainy, youthful nobility to it which perfectly suits this repertoire, his enunciation is immaculate, and he gives memorable accounts of the three Op.59 songs of 1909… Kathryn Rudge’s focused but full-bodied mezzo brings clarity and power to a superbly atmospheric account of The Wind at Dawn (1888, orchestrated in 1912), and the two Op.10 songs (The Torch and The River, both settings of Elgar’s own stylised verses) are just as memorable. … Wordsworth and the orchestra come into their own in the Grania and Diarmid music, bringing an almost Sibelius-like evocation of nature and ancient times to the Incidental Music and Funeral March, and then accompanying Kathryn Rudge matchlessly in the mysterious song ‘There are seven that pull the thread’… What makes it even more attractive, however, is the generous addition of a bonus featuring soprano Nathalie de Montmollin accompanied by Barry Collett in a selection of Elgar’s songs for voice and piano. … Like so many of Somm’s previous Elgar releases, this generous collection of songs (two discs priced as one) is essential listening for Elgarians everywhere, enhanced by excellent recordings (the piano songs performed live at Southampton’s Turner Sims Concert Hall), and fine notes from Barry Collett and fellow Elgar expert Andrew Neill. An outstanding addition to the catalogue.”


Read the full review (and see the sale) at Europadisc.com