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Ruby Hughes & Joseph Middleton - Songs for New Life and Love (2021)

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Ruby Hughes & Joseph Middleton - Songs for New Life and Love (2021)

Ruby Hughes & Joseph Middleton - Songs for New Life and Love (2021)
WEB FLAC (tracks) - 213 Mb | MP3 CBR 320 kbps - 179 Mb | Digital booklet | 01:13:52
Classical, Vocal | Label: BIS

After appearing on a quartet of very different BIS releases, ranging from early baroque arias to orchestral songs by Alban Berg and Mahler’s ‘Resurrection Symphony’, the British soprano Ruby Hughes has devised a song recital, together with her regular Lieder partner Joseph Middleton. The process began in 2018 when the two gave the world première of Helen Grime’s Bright Travellers, a set of five poems charting the interior and exterior worlds of pregnancy and motherhood. Ruby Hughes soon set about planning a programme which would converge with Grime’s music and the themes of new life and of love in all its aspects.

Carolyn Sampson, Joseph Middleton - Fleurs (2015)

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Carolyn Sampson, Joseph Middleton - Fleurs (2015)

Carolyn Sampson, Joseph Middleton - Fleurs (2015)
Schumann, Britten, Purcell, Fauré, Gounod, R.Strauss, Schubert, Poulenc, Debussy, Boulanger

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 272 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 168 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Classical, Vocal | Label: BIS | # BIS-SACD-2102 | Time: 01:08:50

Those of us who rejoice in the crystalline beauty of Carolyn Sampson’s interpretations of Bach, Handel and Purcell will welcome this bouquet of songs on a floral theme, her debut recital disc. It’s been a long wait, but our patience is repaid handsomely. With pianist Joseph Middleton she savours some choice blooms from, among others, Britten, Chabrier, Schubert, Schumann, Gounod and Strauss, her glorious soprano particularly affecting in Fauré’s Le papillon et la fleur and the wonderfully perfumed Les roses d’Ispahan. Middleton plays with dextrous delicacy throughout and brings real virtuosity to Strauss’s Mädchenblumen. Highly recommended.

Joseph Middleton & Samuel Hasselhorn - Schumann: Stille Liebe (2020)

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Joseph Middleton & Samuel Hasselhorn - Schumann: Stille Liebe (2020)

Joseph Middleton & Samuel Hasselhorn - Schumann: Stille Liebe (2020)
WEB FLAC (tracks) - 237 Mb | MP3 CBR 320 kbps - 148 Mb | Digital booklet | 01:04:21
Classical, Vocal | Label: harmonia mundi

Nearly every setting of the poems by Kerner, Chamisso, Andersen and Heine heard in this recital dates from 1840, the year Schumann found himself totally engrossed with the song genre, producing no fewer than 138 individual lieder. This creative vein seems to mirror the inner torments that gripped the young composer at the time, while revealing the extraordinary range of his musical invention and unequalled talent of storyteller, as Samuel Hasselhorn demonstrates here, after winning first prize at the 2018 Queen Elisabeth Competition: the young German baritone’s first recording for harmonia mundi is a veritable love letter to this most intimate of art forms.

Sarah Connolly, Joseph Middleton - Come to Me in My Dreams (2018)

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Sarah Connolly, Joseph Middleton - Come to Me in My Dreams (2018)

Sarah Connolly, Joseph Middleton - Come to Me in My Dreams (2018)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 77:18 | 328 MB
Genre: Classical, Vocal | Label: Chandos Records | Catalog: CHAN 10944

Sleep is a common enough subject in art song, and Come to Me in My Dreams, a recital by mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly and pianist Joseph Middleton, isn't the only one. It may well, however, be the best. There are numerous attractions, starting with Connolly's voice, seeming to catch the mixture of clarity and seductiveness in the sleep phenomenon. Connolly touches on some little-known numbers, including a gem by the still rarely heard Muriel Herbert right at the beginning (sample the unaccompanied opening, and you'll be hooked for the duration). The music is all British, mostly from between the world wars, and all more or less similar in tone, although there's some splendid poetry involved.