A Survey of British Tenors before Peter Pears    (3-Marston 53020)
Item# V2637
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A Survey of British Tenors before Peter Pears    (3-Marston 53020)
V2637. A SURVEY of BRITISH TENORS BEFORE PETER PEARS, incl. Dan Beddoe, Webster Booth, Tom Burke, Joseph Cheetham, John Coates, Sydney Coltham, Ben Davies, Tudor Davies, Hubert Eisdell, Gervase Elwes, Walter Glynne, William Green, John Harrison, Gregory Hast, Ruby Helder, Joseph Hislop, Walter Hyde, James Johnston, Hirwen Jones, Arthur Jordan, Morgan Kingston, Edward Lloyd, John McCormack, Frank Mullings, Heddle Nash, Joseph O’Mara, Charles Saunders, Herbert Teale, Frank Titterton, Henry Wendon, Walter Widdop & Evan Williams 3-Marston 53020, recorded 1901-42. Transfers by Ward Marston. Elaborate 111pp Booklet has notes by Michael Aspinall. [A treasurable program, mandatory for lovers of the art song] - 638335302027

CRITIC REVIEWS:

"Michael Aspinall rightly points out that if there were a singer of similar status to Pears who inspired tenors of the last decades of the 19th century it was John Sims Reeves, and to that extent this is a post-Sims Reeves collection. It charts a kind of inheritance from the great British singer who left no traces of his own voice but whose Italianate style in the vocal personage of his successors….It’s still unfamiliar territory for most singers today….How much richer the sometimes rather arid contemporary vocal landscape might be if we had a better sense of history and were prepared to draw on it."

- John Potter, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2020





"There was a style of tenor singing in the early days of recording that was peculiarly British. It began we can suppose with tenors of the 18th and 19th centuries who did not record, such as Charles Dibdin, John Braham and Sims Reeves, and carried on more or less until the end of the 78rpm era by British tenors who did record until the model for singing tenor in Britain became Peter Pears, whose singing was not really like any of his predecessors. This CD set celebrates the historic and wonderful recordings made by those earlier tenors. They sound old-fashioned because no-one singing today sounds like them. They also sang and recorded a repertory of English songs and opera arias infrequently performed today. Although some of them recorded songs and arias in foreign languages, we have intentionally limited this set to songs, operatic arias and oratorio arias originally sung in English. As Shaw wrote in 1891 in his review of the farewell concert of Sims Reeves, the public was losing the greatest tenor in England and perhaps the greatest tenor in the world. This set is intended to allow us to imagine what a Sims Reeves concert might have been like.

Included singers: Dan Beddoe, Webster Booth, Tom Burke, Joseph Cheetham, John Coates, Sydney Coltham, Ben Davies, Tudor Davies, Hubert Eisdell, Gervase Elwes, Walter Glynne, William Green, John Harrison, Gregory Hast, Ruby Helder, Joseph Hislop, Walter Hyde, James Johnston, Hirwen Jones, Arthur Jordan, Morgan Kingston, Edward Lloyd, John McCormack, Frank Mullings, Heddle Nash, Joseph O’Mara, Charles Saunders, Herbert Teale, Frank Titterton, Henry Wendon, Walter Widdop and Evan Williams. This set is a tribute to a school of singing that is now largely lost, and to some very British repertory that is seldom performed."

- Ward Marston