Elgar: Where Corals Lie - a journey through songs by Elgar

 
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EDWARD ELGAR
Elgar: Where Corals Lie - a journey through songs by Elgar
Julia Sitkovetsky (soprano) Christopher Glynn (piano)

[ Chandos / CD ]

Release Date: Friday 15 October 2021

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Working in an era before Arts Council grants, public sponsorship, recording royalties, and long-term publishing deals, Elgar had to write for the public demand as much as personal satisfaction. The effort required for his large-scale works was rarely reflected in profitable income, so writing songs could be a useful way to earn money. The England of Elgar's time favoured popular ballads, sung by well-known singers. These were then sold as sheet music, the singer's name emblazoned on the cover, for performances given in middle-class homes. There was little demand for lengthy song cycles, or song recitals consisting entirely of 'serious' repertoire in the German tradition. As a result, Elgar's songs are often individual works, sometimes adapting instrumental works into songs (such as 'Land of Hope and Glory') when the commercial opportunities arose. Elgar also chose poetry that was popular and straightforward, rather than drawing on the established classical masterpieces. These songs were then transposed into numerous keys to allow performance by any voice type, designed for mass appeal and profitable sales. Making her Chandos début, Julia Sitkovetsky is a British-American lyric-dramatic coloratura soprano with a flourishing, exciting international career. Having trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, she made her professional operatic début at the age of sixteen, at Glyndebourne Festival Opera and English National Opera. Since then, she has appeared all over Europe. In the 2021 / 2022 season, she will return to Semperoper Dresden with her signature role, Queen of the Night, with which she will also make her house début at Komische Oper Berlin. With Roger Vignoles, Julia Sitkovetsky has given recitals at Wigmore Hall and Snape Maltings. In the summer of 2021, with her father, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, she performed songs by Shostakovich at the Internationale Schostakowitsch Tage Gohrisch in Dresden.

"…Should anyone suspect that her [Skitkovetsky] exotic heritage influences her diction in singing this intensely English repertoire, it doesn't: and she addresses some of Elgar's greatest songs (notably the Two Songs, Op. 60, and Pleading) with the full might of a fine coloratura, highly appropriate for pieces that, to the uninitiated, might sound like Puccini. She does a creditable Sea Pictures, too, in their original soprano key (they are routinely performed by mezzos)…" Daily Telegraph

Tracks:

Sea Pictures, Op.37 (version for soprano & piano)

From 'Sieben Lieder' (five songs)

Two Songs, Op.60

Pleading, Op.48

The Muleteer's Serenade

The Self Banished

Speak, Music!, Op.41 No.2 (from Two Songs
to Mrs Edward Speyer, Ridgehurst)

After, Op.31 No.1

In Moonlight

When the spring comes round

Pansies

Elgar: Where corals lie