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Silent Noon ()

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Bryn Terfel's overdue sequel to his highly successful The Vagabond (1995) dips deeper yet into the barrel of English song, hauling up a number of unfamiliar composers and songs, and interspersing them with favorites by Roger Quilter, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Benjamin Britten. It's a far more diverse collection than The Vagabond, lavishing attention especially on the turn-of-the-century (twentieth, that is) students of C.V. Stanford and Hubert Parry. For that reason it will be of great interest to fans of that era in particular. But, though it showcases Terfel's charisma and vocal flexibility (often in the extreme -- more on that later), and is certainly worth hearing, it doesn't live up to the baritone's previous achievements in pure musical enjoyment and interpretive consistency. Part of the problem lies with the musical selections themselves. Though pleasant, Arthur Somervell's songs from A.E. Housman's A Shropshire Lad -- the most substantial group in the program -- seem pedestrian next to George... Hide synopsis

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