giovedì 14 gennaio 2016

Bitter Ballads

24 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 120 Mb

"Ancient and modern poetry set to medieval and traditional melodies," says the subtitle to this disc and it's not as unusual an idea as it might seem: fitting a pre-existing melody to new words, far from being an invention of television advertising, has been done at least since the Middle Ages. Baritone Paul Hillier has revived this practice, pairing troubadour and traditional tunes with poetry ranging from Sappho to Swift and Blake to Brecht. The effect is that of a polished folk song recital but with a more jaundiced tone: these really are "bitter ballads." Hillier's diction could be sharper (you may want to read the poems through before you listen), but his discerning choices and sensitive delivery, along with the exquisite playing of harpist Andrew Lawrence-King, make this innovative program fascinating and even moving."  Matthew Westphal


1 - Clever Tom Clinch Going to be Hanged
2 - The Roundhead
3 - London is a Fine Town
4 - London
5 - The Fine Old English Gentleman
6 - The Great Testament
7 - Highland Dance #1
8 - Kiltory
9 - Highland Dance #2
10 - Shallow-Water Warning
11 - Song for a Sea Tower
12 - The Ballad of Marie Farrar
13 - Senza Licenza
14 - Invention
15 - Fine Flowers in the Valley
16 - Sappho - Fragment
17 - The Keel Row I
18 - It Was Summer Now
19 - The Keel Row II
20 - Disillusionment
21 - The Cockfight
22 - Sailing to Byzantium
23 - Brigg Fair
24 - Coda from Brigg-Flatts

Paul Hillier, voice
Andrew Lawrence-King, harps, psaltery 

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