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Elgar: Complete Songs For Voice And Piano, Volume 1

Reinild Mees, Konrad Jarnot, Amanda Roocroft


SKU: 27507

Year of release: 2007

1. The Self-Banished Elgar 03:59
2. Oh, Soft was the Song Op. 59 No. 3 Elgar 01:39
3. In Moonlight Elgar 02:12
4. Pleading Op. 48 No. 1 Elgar 02:20
5. There Are Seven That Pull the Thread Elgar 02:17
6. Twilight Op. 59 No. 6 Elgar 02:48
Sea Pictures 22:21
7. Sea Slumber-Song Op. 37 No. 1 Elgar 05:13
8. In Haven (Capri) Op. 37 No. 2 Elgar 01:38
9. Sabbath Morning at Sea Op. 37 No. 3 Elgar 05:32
10. Where Corals Lie Op. 37 No. 4 Elgar 03:30
11. The Swimmer Op. 37 No. 5 Elgar 06:26
12. The Wind at Dawn Elgar 02:53
13. In the Dawn Op. 41 No. 1 Elgar 02:29
14. Speak, Music! Op. 41 No. 2 Elgar 02:32
15. Dry Those Fair, Those Crystal Eyes Elgar 01:35
16. Always and Everywhere Elgar 03:19
17. Like to the Damask Rose Elgar 03:42
18. Queen Mary?s Song Elgar 03:35
19. A Song of Autumn Elgar 03:08
20. Come, Gentle Night Elgar 03:07
Total time: 64:05

About this album

Like most composers, Sir Edward Elgars first attempts at composition were with anthems and small chamber and piano pieces, though unlike most young composers of his day, strangely Elgar wrote few songs until his various love affairs from his mid-twenties onwards. Elgars early life as a composer was one of constantly importuning publishers to take small pieces – a situation that gradually changed in the 1890s as his early works for chorus and orchestra appeared. But it took Elgar a long time to become established, the Enigma Variations only appearing when he was 41. It is doubly interesting then to encounter so early a song as his setting of Edmund Waller, The Self-Banished, which dated from 1875 when he was just 18. It, of course, remained unpublished and unknown until recently when it was printed in the Elgar Collected Edition. In the present selection of Elgars songs we move on a dozen years for something more familiar, when the thirty-year old Elgar set Queen Marys Song, words by Tennyson. Written in June and July 1887 it was accepted by the London publishers Osborn & Tuckwood and revised for publication in 1889. It later became familiar when included by Elgar in the volume of Seven Lieder which the now celebrated composer published in 1907. In The Wind at Dawn the 30 year-old Elgar set words written by his future wife, (C. Alice Roberts it says on the printed copies), about a year before they were married. Alice was already a published poet and novelist, if a minor one. It was the first time he had set Alices verse. However, the musics tremendous character and impact was not fully revealed until he orchestrated it, in his most sumptuous mature manner, in July 1912. Here we have nothing less than what is, to all intents and purposes, a sixth Sea Picture.

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Opera News

the distribution of material between the soprano Amanda Roocroft and bariton Konrad Jarnot is well considered. Extraordinairy colourful, varied and powerfull playing by Reinild Mees. Jarnot too is an impressive artist, always driving the vocal line with firmly pointed and expressive handling if text and using a wide range of color and weight in his phrasing.

Elgar Society Journal

Without doubt the recording is a triumph, and must certainly go the top of recommended recordings of the songs. Amanda Roocroft and Konrad Jarnot are excellent throughout, with impeccable diction, warmth of tone, and the sense that they believe in the songs, and so they emerge as much finer works than they have sometimes been thought to be.


Pas de doute, Elgar est entre de bonnes mains pour la suite de cette integrale, que l'on attend avec impatiebece. Comme on dit outre-Manche:


eine umfassende Dokumentation des vllig unbekannten Elgar-Liedschaffens ist dies ein echt gelungener Anfang.

Classics Today

This is a really pleasant recital that easily encourages repeated listening... Highlights include Sea Pictures--sung with authority and proper dramatic flair by baritone Konrad Jarnot--and the characterful, artful performances by soprano Amanda Roocroft in In the Moonlight and The Wind at Dawn. Both of these singers manage to deliver even the more parlor-ish songs in a manner that captures the music's essential emotional aspects and melodic features... It helps that the voices are so appealing, strong, and technically assured, with ideal timbre and character for this music... Highly recommended!"

Reinild Mees besticht am Klavier nun gerade durch ihre unaufdringliche Art des Spiels. Sie hlt sich im Hintergrund, ist so verlssliche Sttze der Snger. Diese sind sehr prominent und kompetent besetzt: Amanda Roocroft und Konrad Jarnot stellen sich, gleich ihrer Partnerin am Piano, vollends in den Dienst der Musik Elgars. Dadurch entstehen wunderbar anrhrende Momente, wie in 'There Are Seven That Pull The Thread', komponiert 1901: Ein uerst simples melodisches Muster, welches die Sopranstimme kaum ber den Ambitus einer Sprechstimme hinaus lsst, bildet die Grundlage einer fesselnden Schlichtheit. Es bleibt zu hoffen, dass die Reihe von Aufnahmen Elgar'scher Lieder tatschlich fortgefhrt und qualitativ an diese erste CD der Reihe angeknpft wird.

Classics FM

a top release () (.) Roocroft steps over the traces of sentimentality associated with the songs to find refreshingly subtle vocal colours and shadings. Likewise Jarnot strikes the profoundly complex emotional heart of pieces often milked for surface pathos () (.) Eloquently matched by Mees's playing

Fono Forum

Folge 1 der geplanten Gesamteinspielung bietet einen reprsentativen, nicht systematisch geordneten Querschnitt aus Elgars Liedschaffen. Mit von der Partie sind die Sea Pictures', die hier einmal in einer Klavierfassung und von einem Bariton zu hren sind. Konrad Jarnot macht seine Sache ziemlich gut. Er deklamiert die Texte genau und kann zu ihrer Gestaltung auch Dynamik und Farben angemessen einsetzen. Sein leicht tenoral timbrierter, auch im hohen Register rund klingender Bariton ist das eigentliche Ereignis dieser CD, und natrlich sein glnzendes hohes A am Ende von The Swimmer. Amanda Roocroft setzt Jarnots feiner Deklamation die Produktion wohlklingender Tne entgegen. In puncto Ausdruck schlgt sie jedenfalls zu viel ber denselben Leisten. Das klingt schn, wirkt aber auf Dauer monochrom. Zudem gert ihrer voluminsen Stimme leicht alles zur groen opernhaften Szene. Da bleibt der kammermusikalische Aspekt auf der Strecke.

Musicweb international

This is a fascinating disc and I look forward to the remainder of the series. The performances are strong and convincing, both singers have fine diction and convey both the music and the text in a way, which is wholly admirable and necessary in this style of song. Reinild Mees makes a good accompanist with good feeling for the orchestral nature of Elgar's piano parts.


De vertolkingen zijn bijzonder verdienstelijk. Reinild Mees' richtinggevende begeleidigen staan garant voor karakter en houvast.

Audiophile Audition

Elgar the songster should not go underestimated, as this lovely surround sound disc proves. I have been it written more than once that Elgar was not a very successful songwriter, this new release seeks to put those sorts of sentiments directly into the grave, Amanda Roocroft seems to ooze love for these works, as does Konrat Jarnot, and the pair will have quit a success on their hands with this series is brought to fruition.


the performances are excellent ...Nothing is exaggerated, nothing treated with condescending irony, nothing pumped up into more than it is [Roocroft] sings with a fluent sense of rubatoand a seductive purity[Jarnot] is even more impressive, alert to the special flavor of each song in a way that gives this repertoire far more variety than it usually hasMees, a superlative accompanist, draws more than you might have thought possible from the piano reduction If you're interested in Elgar's songs, this is the place to start.


De Duitse bariton Konrad Jarnot maakt over de hele linie grote indruk. Hij geeft met zijn uitmuntende bereik die liederen van Elgar, of het nu gaat om een vroeg lied of een later werk, een internationale allure die de liederen doen aansluiten bij het grote westerse liedrepertoire.

Financieel Dagblad

Verrukkelijk, deze ernstige, plechtstatige, pathetische muziek uit de jaren 1875-1910. Reinield Mees maakt echt werk van de meester die nauwelijks als liedercomponist bekendstaat. 'Native speakers' Roocroft en Jarnot zijn gedroomde interpreten.


Sound and presentation are absolutely first-rate. All in all, an encouraging starts to what promises to be a fascination enterprise. Roll on, vol.2

International Record Review

beautifully sung by Amanda Roocroft and Konrat Jarnot with his agreeable light baritone () () all the songs are accompanied with great sensitivity and musicianship by Reinild Mees (..)


There is more to Edward Elgar's song output than Sea Pictures, as this disc, the first in a projected complete series, reminds us. That cycle appears here in a doubly unusual guise: with its original piano accompaniments and sung by a baritone. Konrad Jarnot, tonally firm and sensitive to the words, makes a good case for this version, and Reinild Mees's resourceful piano playing makes the usual orchestral finery seem almost superfluous. Amanda Roocroft, lyrical and perceptive in her interpretations, shares with Jarnot the remaining 15 songs on this disc, which take a selective journey from Victorian drawing-room balladeer to consummate late-Romantic melodist. ()

een waar waagstuk dat Channel Classics het plan heeft opgevat alle liederen van Elgar op cd te zetten. () Als dan iedere snaar trilt, het ene aangrijpende beeld zich aan het andere rijgt en de liederen tevens grootse schilderingen zijn, is het aan de vocalist en zijn 'begeleider' (hier een volkomen onjuist begrip) om deze rijke aders los te beitelen en ze onopgesmukt te laten glinsteren. Als muziek al 'maniertjes' verdraagt, dan deze liederen in ieder geval niet. Roocroft en Jarnot scheppen lied na lied het unieke beeld zoals dat uit de muziek zelf voortkomt. De kracht van hun vertolkingen berust alleen op hetgeen Elgar voor hen heeft uitgespreid, ze kruipen als het ware in zijn expressie, zijn gevoelens, zoals de dichtregels hem daartoe hebben genspireerd. Gedrien hebben ze gekozen voor eenheid in grote verscheidenheid en dt maakt van ieder lied op deze cd een bijzondere, ontroerende gebeurtenis.


Channel Classics nous transporte au cur d'une personnalit attachante, bien loin des fulgurances orchestrales de ses uvres symphoniques. La soprano Amanda Roocroft et le baryton Konrad Jarnot se partagent, en alternance, des groupes de lieder, accompagns aves finesse par piano de Reinild Mees. Dans une belle prise de son en pur DSD respectant le naturel des timbres, cet enregistrement est un petit bijou.

BBC Music Magazine

Konrad Jarnot is mesmerising in the opening slumber and with noble tones from the pianist Reinild Mees he makes Elizabeth Barratt Browning's 'Sabbath morning at Sea' more persuasive than I've ever heard it. (...) Mees is clean and bright in the rather undistinguished piano parts, assisted by Channel Classic' full and natural l recital ambience.

De Gelderlander

Prachtige opnamen van twintig Songs die een perfecte indruk van de liedkunst in laat-Victoriaanse Engeland schetsen, het smaakt naar mr. Veel mr.

Technical Specifications

Recording Type Bit RateDSD64
SpeakersAudiolab, Holland
Recording SoftwarePyramix bij Merging
Recording EngineerJared Sacks
ProducerJared Sacks
Mixing BoardRens Heijnis custom design
MicrophonesBruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mastering EquipmentB&W 803 diamond series
Mastering EngineerJared Sacks
Digital ConvertersMeitner A/D DSD / Meitner DA
Cablesvan den Hul