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Echo - songs across the ages

Composer Johann Sebastian Bach
Errollyn Wallen
Cheryl Frances-Hoad
Deborah Pritchard
Henry Purcell
Huw Watkins
Performer Ruby Hughes
Huw Watkins
Period Contemporary
Catalogue Number BIS-2568 SACD
EAN 7318599925684
Format SACD Hybrid

This hybrid disc plays on both CD and SACD players
SACD Surround - SACD Stereo - CD Stereo

Release date Nov 2022
Total time 63'33

Huw Watkins’ song cycle Echo, composed for soprano Ruby Hughes and premiered in 2017 at Carnegie Hall, is at the centre of this artfully crafted recital. Setting texts by five different poets, the cycle is a work centred on melancholy – on transience, remembrance, and in the final song a numbed cry of inconceivable loss. As such it permeates the entire programme, adding a new and unexpected depth to that which precedes as well as follows. &&&
Another strand of the recital is the idea of how composers across the ages have addressed and echoed one another lovingly in their music – often in the most nuanced and unconscious way. Bach’s solo keyboard works capture something of a sense of timelessness, or more accurately, inspire an emotional connection that transcends time. A similar affinity seems to inform Britten’s folksong arrangements and his realisations of Bach’s Geistliche Lieder as well as the Purcell realisations by Thomas Adès and Tippett. A different kind of echo is created by the inclusion of Britten’s version of Dafydd y Garreg Wen(David of the White Rock) – a nod to the performers’ shared Welsh heritage. Closing the disc, three songs by contemporary British composers admired by both Watkins and Hughes also resonate with the previous works, bringing the programme full circle.
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  Johann Sebastian Bach
  from Partita No. 4, BWV 828
01 Sarabande 3'24
02 Gedenke doch, mein Geist, zurücke (arr. Benjamin Britten) 1'30
  from French Suite No. 3, BWV 814
03 Sarabande 1'44
04 Komm, süsser Tod (arr. Benjamin Britten) 3'05
  from Partita No. 6, BWV 8360
05 Corrente 2'42
06 Liebster Herr Jesu (arr. Benjamin Britten) 3'34
  Huw Watkins
  Echo 15'02
07 I. Echo 4'20
08 II. For each ecstatic instant 1'42
09 III. If grief could burn out 3'29
10 IV. When You Are Old 2'23
11 V. Baby Blue 3'08
  Henry Purcell
12 By beauteous softness (arr. Thomas Adès) 4'41
13 Music for a while (arr. Michael Tippett) 4'09
14 I wonder as I wander (arr. Benjamin Britten) 4'45
15 Dafydd y Garreg Wen (arr. Benjamin Britten) 3'38
16 How sweet the answer (The Wren) (arr. Benjamin Britten) 2'30
  Deborah Pritchard
17 The World 4'07
  Cheryl Frances-Hoad
18 Lament 3'23
  Errollyn Wallen
19 Peace on Earth 3'08
  Album total 63'33
ComposerBach, Johann Sebastian
Errollyn Wallen
Frances-Hoad, Cheryl
Pritchard, Deborah
Purcell, Henry
Watkins, Huw
SopranoHughes, Ruby
PianoWatkins, Huw
ArrangerAdés, Thomas
Bergmann, Walter
Britten, Benjamin
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