Rorem On an Echoing Road

Five young singers deliver Rorem’s songs with clarity and intelligence

Author: 
John Steane

Rorem On an Echoing Road

  • Early in the morning
  • Are you the new person?
  • Rain in Spring
  • For Susan
  • Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
  • Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair
  • To a Young Girl
  • Catullus: On the Burial of his Brother
  • Evidence of Things Not Seen, Requiescat (Wds O.Wilde)
  • I will always love you
  • That shadow, my likeness
  • Evidence of Things Not Seen, On an echoing road (Wds Colette)
  • I strolled across an open field
  • Alleluia
  • Little Elegy
  • Sometimes with one I love
  • Evidence of Things Not Seen, Hymn for Evening (Wds T.Ken)
  • Orchids
  • On a singing Girl
  • Now sleeps the crimson petal
  • What if some little pain...
  • Look down fair moon
  • Evidence of Things Not Seen, The Rainbow (Wds W.Wordsworth)
  • Do I love you more than a day?
  • Evidence of Things Not Seen, Their Lonely Betters (Wds W.H.Auden)
  • Do not love too long
  • Evidence of Things Not Seen, Comment on War (Wds L.Hughes)
  • (The) Serpent
  • Full of life now

A first thought here is that the poems would make an excellent anthology in themselves – and that is not to disparage the music. Armin Zanner’s introductory essay on the composer and his songs makes much of the echo motif (the phrase adopted for the subtitle is from a poem, well translated by Rorem, by Colette). Rorem is quoted as saying: “I set words to music as I talk them”. He also says that the germ, “the spark that’s lit in the night”, usually goes into the accompaniment. Does that, I wonder, explain a second thought – that these songs are characteristically just a little too delicate, that this prized quality of colloquial ease is a reason why I also think that they will glide out of my mind as easily as they slid into it?

Certainly – certainty at last – this is a most attractive disc. The Prince Consort comprises five singers still young, clear and intelligent in their way with words, and their pianist-director, Alisdair Hogarth. Unusually they have a countertenor in their midst, the excellent Tim Mead, who shares the title-song, a duet, with Anna Leese, and has two of the best solos. South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo is also noteworthy: the recording brings out the individual timbre of his voice, and to him goes what I still find best of the songs, “Early in the morning”.

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£67/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2019