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Jim Svejda
Fanfare, May 2016

Marcus Farnsworth, with his manly, superbly controlled baritone voice, does everything possible to mine the last ounce of color and drama from what can be some rather turgid material—The Shooting of his Dear is dour enough to curdle fresh milk—while the unison contributions of the amateur Weybridge Male Voice Choir add little to the settings’ inherent interest or charm.

Pianist John Talbot’s immaculate contributions and the Naxos price tag only add to the allure of an irresistible collection. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review




Robert Matthew-Walker
Musical Opinion, March 2016

The performances here are wonderfully convincing and individual—without at all being ‘quirky’ in any way—mindful and respectful of the provenance of this material, and the singing and playing are of a very high standard indeed. We need more of this repertoire on disc, and these musicians appear to be just the people to do so. © 2016 Musical Opinion



Paul Corfield Godfrey
MusicWeb International, January 2016

…[Marcus Farnsworth] has subsequently established a considerable reputation; …Here he is content to respond sensitively to the words without excessive pointing of them, and John Talbot is a most expressive accompanist. Some of the piano parts—such as The Oxford sporting blade and Gaol Song—have a sense of fun that anticipates Britten, and Parson and Clerk has a strong flavour of Warlock. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2015

Ernest Moeran was still a student when he heard Vaughan Williams’s Norfolk Rhapsody, sparking his interest in folk songs from around the British Isles. Interrupted by service in the First World War, he began collecting them from rural and seafaring locations, and together with other interested composers, saved these many songs from being lost for ever. Some he gathered together under specific titles in the form of rustic song cycles, three of which are contained on this disc, together with seven of a more of random origin. They reflected the life around them, his collection coming entirely from hearing them sung and later adding a supporting piano accompaniment. In mood they are quintessentially British in their flowing lyricism, Moeran’s harmonic structure in the piano part adding to that quality. They are sung by Marcus Farnsworth, the baritone winner of the 2009 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition in London, and the distinguished English tenor, Adrian Thompson. Farnsworth, for his part, offers a clear-cut and well projected quality, though very different to that of Thompson whose voice was born to sing the music of Benjamin Britten. Joining in the chorus of three songs are members of the Weybridge Male Voice Choir who add the rough-hewn sounds of sailors and farm workers. John Talbot brings a very positive accompaniment, and I guess there will never be a more attractive disc of folksongs and in a more sympathetic recording. You can have the words by downloading them from the Naxos website. © 2015 David’s Review Corner





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