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Brahms, Fauré, Finzi, Schubert: Songs / Jonathan Lemalu, Roger Vignoles


Release Date: 08/19/2008 
Label:  Emi Classics Encore Catalog #: 08285   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Franz SchubertGabriel FauréGerald FinziTraditional,   ... 
Performer:  Jonathan LemaluRoger Vignoles
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

A welcome re-release of a youthful talent.

This was originally released on EMI’s ‘Debut’ series, the catalogue number of which was 7242 5752032, and is now re-issued. In the last six years Lemalu’s profile has risen appreciably so his admirers and others should note this state of play and not be seduced into thinking this a new release.

Evenness and sonorousness of vocal production were always there, seemingly. I happened to have heard a youthful appearance given by Lemalu with the London Pro Arte Orchestra and East London Chorus and even then it was apparent that he was going places. It may even have been around the time he made this recording with Roger Vignoles. His Brahms is powerful and noble of
Read more utterance and if one finds his singing of the Four Serious Songs to a degree under-characterised they lack for little in resonant control. The third however is strongly projected. The Schubert quartet was well chosen. It was a question of what best suited his voice, temperament and expressive qualities. They give a fair indication of his promise and suit the voice well. I particularly enjoyed Der Schiffer which is probably the best pointed of the four.

He cast an exploratory vocal net in this recital and also presented L'Horizon chimérique. He manages softly to lighten his big voice in La mer est infinie but something of the conversational freedom of the writing eludes him as it does throughout the cycle. It’s at best a very partial viewpoint. When we turn to Finzi we are on safer linguistic ground. There’s plenty of verve in Rollicum-rorum where he even overdoes articulation and underlines certainly words – ‘modesty’ for one – in a way that breaks up the line. To Lizbie Browne suffers a little from the rather unyielding darkness of the voice; it as yet admits of little sense of loss and pain. Lemalu sings it, perhaps as he must, as a young man singing theoretically not as Hardy’s stricken, regretful older man realising ‘I let you slip…’.

There is also the salt spray of a quartet of English sea songs - Ireland, Keel, Head and the Roger Vignoles-arranged Lowlands, a sea-shanty. It’s especially fine to hear Michael Head’s The Estuary with its semi-parlando central section.

A welcome re-release then of a youthful talent. Vignoles accompanies with great sympathy and perception. There are no texts.

-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Der Wanderer an den Mond, D 870/Op. 80 no 1 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Jonathan Lemalu (Bass Baritone), Roger Vignoles (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1826; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 2 Minutes 30 Secs. 
2.
Auf der Donau, D 553/Op. 21 no 1 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Jonathan Lemalu (Bass Baritone), Roger Vignoles (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 3 Minutes 21 Secs. 
3.
Der Schiffer, D 536 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Jonathan Lemalu (Bass Baritone), Roger Vignoles (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 2 Minutes 7 Secs. 
4.
Der Wanderer, D 489 (493a)/Op. 4 no 1 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Roger Vignoles (Piano), Jonathan Lemalu (Bass Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 5 Minutes 32 Secs. 
5.
L'horizon chimérique, Op. 118 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Roger Vignoles (Piano), Jonathan Lemalu (Bass Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1921; France 
Length: 7 Minutes 59 Secs. 
6.
Earth and Air and Rain, Op. 15: no 6, Rollicum-rorum by Gerald Finzi
Performer:  Roger Vignoles (Piano), Jonathan Lemalu (Bass Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928-1932; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 3 Secs. 
7.
Earth and Air and Rain, Op. 15: no 7, To Lizbie Browne by Gerald Finzi
Performer:  Roger Vignoles (Piano), Jonathan Lemalu (Bass Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928-1932; England 
Length: 4 Minutes 41 Secs. 
8.
Lowlands by Traditional
Performer:  Roger Vignoles (Piano), Jonathan Lemalu (Bass Baritone)
Written: Scotland 
Length: 3 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Roger Vignoles. 
9.
Sea fever by John Ireland
Performer:  Roger Vignoles (Piano), Jonathan Lemalu (Bass Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Roger Vignoles. 
10.
Songs (6) for Voice and Piano: The Estuary by Michael Head
Performer:  Roger Vignoles (Piano), Jonathan Lemalu (Bass Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; South Africa 
Length: 5 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Roger Vignoles. 
11.
Serious Songs (4), Op. 121 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Roger Vignoles (Piano), Jonathan Lemalu (Bass Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Austria 
Length: 17 Minutes 30 Secs. 
12.
Salt-Water Ballads (3) by Frederick Keel
Performer:  Roger Vignoles (Piano), Jonathan Lemalu (Bass Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 2 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Roger Vignoles. 

Sound Samples

4 Ernste Gesänge Op. 121: I. Denn es gehet dem Menschen (Salomo, Kap. 3)
4 Ernste Gesänge Op. 121: II. Ich wandte mich und sahe an alle (Salomo, Kap. 4)
4 Ernste Gesänge Op. 121: III. O Tod, o Tod, wie bitter bist du (Sirach, Kap. 41)
4 Ernste Gesänge Op. 121: IV. Wenn ich mit Menschen -und mit Engelszungen redete (Korinther 1, Kap. 13)
Der Wanderer an den Mond D870
Auf der Donau D553
Der Schiffer D536
Der Wanderer D489
L'Horizon chimérique Op. 118: La mer est infinie
L'Horizon chimérique Op. 118: Je me suis embarqué
L'Horizon chimérique Op. 118: Diane Séléné
L'Horizon chimérique Op. 118: Vaisseaux nous vous aurons aimés
Earth and Air and Rain Op. 15: 6. Rollicum-Rorum
Earth and Air and Rain Op. 15: To Lizbie Browne
Lowlands (Traditional Sea Shanty arranged by Roger Vignoles)
Sea Fever
Trade Winds (Salt-Water Ballads No. 2)
The Estuary

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