[ Heritage / CD ]
Release Date: Tuesday 23 September 2014
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Dame Isobel Baillie [1895 - 1983] was the leading British concert soprano of the first half of the 20th century. Her style was characterised by a focussed tone, clear diction and a speech-like and natural approach to phrasing. Her strength was in British music, including Vaughan Williams' 'Serenade to Music' (of which she was one of the original singers) and Elgar's 'The Kingdom'. With the exception of 1933, she sang at the Three Choirs Festival every year from 1929 to 1955; she sang 'Messiah' for the Halle Orchestra annually for 26 consecutive seasons and for the Royal Choral Society at the Royal Albert Hall on 33 occasions. She was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1951, and was promoted in 1978 to Dame Commander (DBE).
This Heritage release showcases her artistry in repertoire with which she had a close affinity - Purcell, Arne, Bach, Handel and Haydn in recordings that date from 1941 to 1949 with a variety of orchestras, conductors and accompanists. New transfers.
''These recordings from the 1940s show why the Scottish soprano was so popular........ Baillie's crystal-clear voice speaks out loud and bold. When she sings 'at the right hand of God' or 'Oh whistle, and I'll come to you, my lad', with that shining innocence of hers, you believe her. She sings Purcell with the essential firmness of line that some modern singers neglect.'' David Cairns, The Sunday Times 14/09/2014
O ravishing delight
Where the Bee Sucks
Bach, J S:
Cantata BWV208 'Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!': Soll denn der Pales Opfer
Cantata BWV68 'Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt: Mein glaubiges Herze
Oh! didst thou know the pains of absent love...As when the dove (from Acis and Galatea)
Messiah: How beautiful are the feet
Messiah: If God be for us
Samson: Let the bright seraphim
Judas Maccabaeus: O let eternal honours…From mighty kings
The Creation : On mighty pens uplifted soars the eagle aloft
Tell me, some pitying angel (The Blessed Virgin's Expostulation), Z196
Stript of their green our groves appear, Z444
Hark! The Echoing Air (from The Fairy Queen, Z629)
Comin' thro the rye
O whistle an' I'll come to you