Our March Recording of the Month comes from baritone and composer Roderick Williams. A Shropshire Lad features his own dazzlingly orchestrated versions of some of the finest 20th-century songs to come out of the British Isles (Hallé CDHLL7559). He is accompanied by the Hallé Orchestra under Sir Mark Elder.
Vaughan Williams is represented by The House of Life, exquisite settings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Music by four women composers associated with Vaughan Williams, including Ruth Gipps and Rebecca Clarke, also features; poignantly, so too does that of three men who lost their lives during the First World War, one of whom is another Vaughan Williams associate, George Butterworth. His Six Songs from A Shropshire Lad are rightly among the most beloved in this repertoire.
“Richard Strauss’s orchestrations of his own Lieder are a good benchmark and Williams rises to the challenge with style and aplomb,” writes Will Yeoman in a five-star review.
“The performances match the quality of the orchestrations. I’ve listened again and again to the Butterworth and marvelled again and again at...