This is the second of four discs containing all 80 of RVW’s arrangements of folk songs for voice and piano or violin, 75% of them have not been previously recorded. As one reviewer wrote: “These song arrangements have suffered neglect because they fell between two stools: singers rarely included them in art-song recitals, while many traditional folk singers preferred not to sing their selections to the accompaniment of piano… RVW’s piano accompaniments may not be very elaborate in that they void the self-conscious artiness of some of Britten’s – and thank goodness for that – but the piano parts are never dull and the melodies which they support are invariably excellent.”  

All three singers enter fully into the spirit of the songs and sing them with commitment and, as you’d expect, a high degree of skill. Occasionally, they deliver the songs in appropriately rustic accents, but this touch is never overdone. William Vann’s piano accompaniment is unfailingly alert to every nuance, as is Thomas Gould’s in the violin pieces. This directness really is the art that...

Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism.

Subscribe now or log in to continue reading.