Nocturnal Variations | Champs Hill Records CHRCD098

Nocturnal Variations

£11.35

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Label: Champs Hill Records

Cat No: CHRCD098

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 1st April 2016

Contents

Works

Berg, Alban

Lieder (4), op.2

Britten, Benjamin

Folksong arrangements Vol.4 'Moore's Irish Melodies'
» no.5 At the mid hour of night
This Way to the Tomb
» Evening
» Night
Um Mitternacht

Mahler, Gustav

Des Knaben Wunderhorn
» no.9 Wo die schonen Trompeten blasen
» no.11a Urlicht
Ruckert-Lieder (5)
» Um Mitternacht

Schubert, Franz

Abendstern, D806
Die Sterne, D939
Im Abendrot, D799
Nachtstuck, D672
Rosamunde, D797
» Romance: Der Vollmond strahlt auf Bergeshoh'n

Artists

Ruby Hughes (soprano)
Joseph Middleton (piano)

Works

Berg, Alban

Lieder (4), op.2

Britten, Benjamin

Folksong arrangements Vol.4 'Moore's Irish Melodies'
» no.5 At the mid hour of night
This Way to the Tomb
» Evening
» Night
Um Mitternacht

Mahler, Gustav

Des Knaben Wunderhorn
» no.9 Wo die schonen Trompeten blasen
» no.11a Urlicht
Ruckert-Lieder (5)
» Um Mitternacht

Schubert, Franz

Abendstern, D806
Die Sterne, D939
Im Abendrot, D799
Nachtstuck, D672
Rosamunde, D797
» Romance: Der Vollmond strahlt auf Bergeshoh'n

Artists

Ruby Hughes (soprano)
Joseph Middleton (piano)

About

Soprano Ruby Hughes releases her debut solo recital disc with pianist Joseph Middleton, an anthology of night songs by Mahler, Britten, Berg and Schubert. Ruby Hughes introduces the programme:

I have always been fascinated by the various moods of night, from the astonishing drama of storms and sunsets to the tranquillity of darkness: a time for contemplation, meditation, sleep and dreams.

Night has at times evoked darker, more foreboding thoughts and philosophical questions concerning death and existence. Alone at night, the state of mind can be awestruck and frightening under the dark canopy of the universe. At other times it feels safe and calm.

These four composers (Schubert, Mahler, Berg and Britten) have been favourites of mine from a very young age. I love their melodies and modulations, their subtlety and passion as well as their genius for setting and enhancing profoundly moving words. They all composed so lyrically for the voice. Their night songs have at times an otherworldly sense of mystery, as in for example Mahler’s Urlicht, Schubert’s Im Abendrot and Abendstern, Berg’s Warm die Lüfte and Britten’s Um Mitternacht. Their songs also work brilliantly when programmed together, revealing influences such as Schubert’s on Mahler, and Schubert’s and Berg’s on Britten.

Alban Berg’s songs achieve a wonderful blend of his modernist musical language with all he inherited from the romantics (i.e. Schubert through to Mahler). Britten too has the power to combine ancient and modern influences to superb effect.


A BBC New Generation artist in 2011–2013, Ruby Hughes held a Borletti Buitoni Trust award, was shortlisted for a 2014 Royal Philharmonic society Music award, and was winner of the first prize and audience prize at the 2009 London Handel competition.

Reviews

[Ruby Hughes’s] singing is exceptional for its consitency. Though her tone is light and delicate, it's invariably true in pitch and capable of a surprising range of dynamic variety – a perfect instrument of its kind. Every word she sings comes through clearly. Joseph Middleton’s neat and purposeful accompaniments are major assets, and just as Hughes’s singing offers and object lesson in how to bring words and notes together, she and her pianist collaborate as a duo of equals. Made in Champs Hill, the recording is close but also sensitive and revealing.  George Hall
BBC Music Magazine July 2016

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