Vaughan Williams/Elgar/Butterworth Songs
Yet another admirable British Composers collection. The Tear/Handley Elgar and Butterworth items (rarities all—these were, I believe, premiere recordings) were originally harnessed to a fine reading of VW's On Wenlock Edge, but for the purposes of this package EMI have opted instead for Tear's digital remake from three-and-a-half years later with Rattle and the same orchestra. Throughout, Tear sings with his customary sensitivity and intelligent word-pointing, and Allen is magnificent in the Songs of Travel; equally, the CBSO under Rattle and Handley tender irreproachably alert and imaginative support. EMI's warm-toned engineering, whether DDD or ADD, is extremely vivid and always beautifully balanced. With exemplary annotations from Michael Kennedy and full texts, this is a most desirable reissue.'