Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Sunday Times Reviews new Frederick Delius Songbook CD





Mark Stone, Stephen Barlow (piano)
Stone Records
Just under half of Delius’s 61 seldom programmed songs are recorded, so we can expect another volume to complete his “songbook”. The likeable British baritone Mark Stone is the founder-owner of Stone Records, but this is more than a vanity project (he is also making a Wolf edition, in which he has not participated), because he specialises in the undervalued territory of English song. He even sings Delius’s settings of Norwegian or German texts in English translations — several by Peter Pears and one of his own. The highlights here are the Four Old English Lyrics, to words by Shakespeare and Ben Jonson, among others, in which Stone’s engagingly natural style and immaculate diction are supported by Barlow’s sympathetic playing. HC